Demotion, generally speaking, is a reduction in rank. In labor law, a demotion is the withdrawal by an employer of an employee organization's official designation as exclusive representative. It is usually a result of employee disaffection and it follows a decertification election.
If a veteran is demoted, such demotions are frequently held to be removals or discharges under veterans preference and civil service laws, giving the employee a right to notice and hearing. It is important in analyzing demotion cases to note the difference in treatment under veterans preference statutes. A proposed demotion of an employee which might not be considered a removal or a discharge in an action for monetary damages in a wrongful discharge action, for example, could well be considered a removal for purposes of a Veterans Preference Petition, where the remedy is merely a hearing and an opportunity for due process.