Can an employee bump himself into a promotion?

When the company discontinued one of its product lines, management decided to cut back on the number of mechanics in the maintenance department.


When the company discontinued one of its product lines, management decided to cut back on the number of mechanics in the maintenance department. Joe Ferris, along with four other men, was given the choice of either layoff or being bumped to other jobs within the department.

Ferris took little time responding. "Instrument repairman," he said to Maintenance Supervisor Jeff Margolies. "That's the job I'd like to get bumped to."

"What makes you think you're qualified as an instrument repairman?"

"No problem. I filled in on that job more than once. With a week's training, it'll be a piece of cake."

"Sorry," said Margolies, "you can't bump into a higher paying job. You'll have to choose something equal or lower."

Ferris didn't buy that explanation. "I thought promotions are supposed to be based on seniority. My seniority entitles me to the job."

"You got that wrong," Margolies persisted.

"We'll see about that."

Question : Do you think Ferris makes a good argument for his preferred bump to a higher-paying job?

Ingram's decision: "Ferris will have to settle for an equal or lower job," Plant Engineer Art Ingram ruled after being filled in on the dispute. "Provision 14B in the labor agreement decides the issue."

Ingram quoted from the contract: "Where a job classification is reduced or eliminated, employees shall be bumped to job classifications in the department which are lower than or equal in pay to the job from which they are bumped. Seniority in this case carries no special privilege. That's a handy clause to have around."

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