Short story, in early March, my supervisor told me I was not promoted because I had a conduct problem. Later I discovered he had used information from other employee from November 2010 that I knew nothing about. Once I protested it was determined he could not use that information and then on May 22, I was told the reason I was not promoted is because I was not qualified. When this was discussed with my supervisor and HR, they said although the way the qualifications read I was eligible, they have been using it in a different way. At one point they offered me a promotion but without the pay increase and I declined
I know this may be difficult to accept but unless the reason your employer is denying you the promotion or, in some other adverse way, is because of some classification or activity which is protected by law, there is little that can be done, at least legally. Employers are not required to be fair. They often make personnel decisions based on factors other than who is the most qualified. But what they cannot do discriminate based on such things as race, age (over 40) gender, and a number of other classifications protected by law. They also cannot retaliate against an employee who engages in a protected activity, such as refusing to do something illegal.
I realize you posted the short version so there is probably more to your story. You should focus on why it is you were denied the promotion. You may reasonably disagree with the decision which was made but, ultimately, it is the employer's decision to make. If you believe the decision was motivated for unlawful reasons, you should discuss the situation with an experienced employment law attorney in your area.
They say you get what you pay for, and this response is free, so take it for what it is worth. This is my opinion based on very limited information. My opinion should not be taken as legal advice. For true advice, we would require a confidential consultation where I would ask you questions and get your complete story. This is a public forum, so remember, nothing here is confidential. Nor am I your attorney. I do not know who you are and you have not hired me to provide any legal service. To do so would require us to meet and sign written retainer agreement. My responses are intended for general information only.
Attorney Kirschbaum has provided you with an excellent response. It is true that employers are not required to be fair. While employers can't discriminate based on classifications such as race, gender, age (over 40), and sexual orientation, an employer can deny promotions or pay increases based upon merit and qualifications.
Frank W. Chen has been licensed to practice law in California since 1988. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, consult your own attorney.
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