You should talk to your manager. Too many unknowns. They can’t just change your title and comp so you’re going to have to make a choice

I agree. Not sure about US law but in the UK, it would be indeed constructive dismissal and employer acting in bad faith. Even for demotion you need to be put on PIP and your PIP cannot be that short as only 3 months.

Generally they would rather put you in PIP which could be relatively well managed if you could also change the manager… it is very tricky situation to be at, but just do not agree and try to fight for yourself

Maybe in the UK, but not in the US...

there are no federal or state laws against constructive dismissal. Maybe an EEOC complaint is all you could do, but a simple title downgrade certainly does not pass the "intolerable working conditions" they state online as the test.

Also there is no minimum time for a PIP. It is usually 90 days but also can be 30 days, or 5 days. Heck, you can even lay someone off with no notice or severance in the US (as long as it's not a large number layoff, notice is then required).

There are generally far fewer worker protections in the US than the EU/UK. Sounds like OP just needs to start recruiting.

Can you say a little more about this? If they can fire an at will employee for virtually any reason, why can’t they also place conditions on their continued employment?

The concept of “constructive dismissal” would make sense to me if the employer wasn’t otherwise allowed to dismiss you. But if they can, what would you be claiming? 

Edit: actually this concept only applies when someone actually quits voluntarily after the employer creates a “hostile work environment” (a legal term for certain types of discrimination). The idea is that even though you technically resigned, you were basically still fired bc the job was intolerable. i don’t think it’s relevant here

I think the above comments are referring to UK/EU laws, which are nowhere near applicable in the US. Agree with your comment - even proving a hostile work environment is damn near impossible, OP would need to show there was discrimination - a title downgrade is not enough

OP has zero legal recourse in the US and just needs to pick up the job search pronto.

I basically think the at will status means they can do whatever as long as I do not want to be fired.

Under US law, is there anything I can prolong the process? such as sick leave, proving to be disabled such as depression? 

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You can still be fired on leave (FMLA is what you are thinking of) - the rule is you can't be fired because you take the leave, but you can certainly be let go for poor performance. Especially given this has all gone down well before you're requesting the leave. ADA requires reasonable accommodations but again, they can fire you for poor performance all they want.

IMO this will just make things really messy if you try and prolong it with these types of tricks. Take the three months, try and perform better but you really need to be out on Monday messaging HHs and applying to jobs.

Also consolidating your replies - severance means like 8 weeks of pay, in exchange you sign something releasing them from any claims. From my view you don't have any legal claims that would stand in the US, so take the severance if offered.

Constructive dismissal is only a relevant concept when someone quits.  The firm constructively dismissed someone (demotion, pay cut etc) and then the person quits and the firm denies them unemployment because they “quit”.  Person then says no, you constructively dismissed me.

Only time to being in a lawyer is if OP wants to quit and thinks the firm is going to deny unemployment (or alternatively deny severance bc they feel they won’t owe unemployment).

Prior to that stage there’s no reason to contact a lawyer. Constructive dismissal without a quit isn’t a problem. 

The problem is sometimes it’s vengeful  for example you may have a pension that doesn’t get paid out if you quit 

or you may have found a better opportunity so out of spite they downlevel you to make it look like you weren’t doing well

this sounds like a huge bait and switch. Op was hired as a VP that was the deal

and yes they can fire you, but the point is that de-leveling is considered the same thing as a constructive dismissal e.g. you’ve been fired

Start recruiting. At best this is a way to get you to leave, at worst they will fire you in three months.

Don't resign now, the title change won't come up in the background check. And yes you take it or leave it. You shouldn't resign as you would likely get offered some decent severance if they lay you off. But 3 months is plenty of heads up that you need to start recruiting and out out of there ASAP.

Thank you for your advice.

Kinda hard to tell a story about seeking new jobs after 5 months without mentioning this demotion shit.

Is a severance package something they offer in the finance industry? I think it only exists in those big techs. When they can fire me at will, why pay me extra?


Thank you for your advice.

Kinda hard to tell a story about seeking new jobs after 5 months without mentioning this demotion shit.

Is a severance package something they offer in the finance industry? I think it only exists in those big techs. When they can fire me at will, why pay me extra?

Always easy to blame it on the culture / bad fit

Sounds like they don’t think you’re VP material yet, or alternatively they have more of a need at AVP and that how you’ll be utilized.  So they’re demoting you to spare you a layoff/firing, which is what will happen if you do the 90 day review. 

While the situation is sucky it does sound like you were spared a PIP because they think you can contribute, just not at VP level yet.

I would still be looking to get out of there and I would be recruiting with a VP title, at least for now.  It’s not a good reflection on how they see you.

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