July 4, 2024 at 2:46 am

His Company Demoted Him But Expected The Same Amount Of Output. He Did Research And Took Revenge After Realizing What The Company Did Was Illegal.

by Heather Hall

Source: Reddit/Malicious Compliance/Unsplash/kaleb tapp

In business, keeping promises is crucial; especially to your employees. However, not all businesses do this, and when they don’t, their operations usually suffer.

How would you react if you were demoted and expected to perform at the same high level? Would you find a new job? Or would you research and find ways to take revenge?

Today’s story is about someone who was in this exact predicament. Let’s see how they reacted.

Dissolve my department, demote me, and expect the same output? You got it, boss

I work in a highly specialised field, where it’s very difficult to find and train suitable personnel.

By pinching pennies and not holding his promises about pay grade changes, my boss successively drove away the three specialists working in the department I led.

Right before the last one put in her notice, he argued that a 2 person department didn’t justify a leadership position and demoted me, and we were integrated (on paper) to another department.

This was done outside of any legal framework and with a one-week notice, which is illegal.

Companies must reorganize occasionally, but it’s not always for the best.

During the reorganisation, the manager of the department we joined was assigned to R&D, and another manager and his deputy were promoted to lead the department’s daily business.

We effectively had no less than 3 supervisors, all of them lacking managerial training and technical knowledge about the duties of our now defunct department (and only one of them could read the language in which 50% of our reports are written).

Right after the reorganisation, I was granted one last meeting with the boss, where I pointed out that several of my duties cannot be bestowed upon the mere foot soldier I had become, nor taken over by the new leadership.

The manager stood his ground but should’ve considered that there may be consequences.

He answered that his decision was final, I was to revert to my previous job description and take up any future matter with my new supervisors.

I did just that, and some more : I read the state law and ordinance about state and university employees (should have done it earlier, in hindsight).

I discovered that :

  • the illegal move by my boss doesn’t carry any penalty, so there’s nothing I can do legally
  • I’m allowed to take on private mandates for anything that is not explicitly mentioned in my job description (it’s a gift normally meant for professors)
  • I get to take up to 15 days of additional paid leave per year to hold a public office
  • the pay grade I reverted to doesn’t match my responsibilities today, even excluding the absence of leadership position, and there’s an independent procedure with state HR to reevaluate the pay grade

Sometimes, it pays off to read the fine print.

The kicker?

My old job description, which dates back seven years, is short, to say the least: three lines that don’t even cover 50% of what my duties in the last seven years consisted of.

I also have a side gig as a retained firefighter and fire instructor, for which I used to take vacation days.

According to state law, this counts as a public office.

Revenge is best served cold.

The fallout

My new managers both signed the authorisation to take on private mandates and public office without understanding the implications.

I used all of the 15 days, where I legally get paid by the FD and my employer at the same time.

I took on several private mandates totalling nearly an additional month of salary for 4 days of work.

And the pay grade reevaluation has brought me back to the same income as with the previous leadership position.

Oh, and since my speciality now has a bus factor of one and my new supervisors have been unable to staff the open positions.

It was very unlucky that I fell ill at the time where I had to submit paperwork for a research grant, costing the institution 30’000$ in lost research funds.

Eek. The company would’ve benefited from not reorganizing and alienating a good employee.

Let’s see how the fine folks on Reddit responded to this situation.

This person seems to have had a similar experience.

Source: Reddit/Malicious Compliance

The next comment offers some great advice.

Source: Reddit/Malicious Compliance

This person pointed out that the post was a bit hard to follow, and they’re not wrong.

Source: Reddit/Malicious Compliance

Here’s a less common opinion but a very valid point.

Source: Reddit/Malicious Compliance

If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.

It’s safe to say that everyone learned a lesson here.

If you liked that story, check out this post about an oblivious CEO who tells a web developer to “act his wage”… and it results in 30% of the workforce being laid off.