Asking to have a position reclassified at a higher pay grade isn’t the same as requesting a promotion. If the request is turned down, the employee can’t sue for a denied promotion.
Recent case: Kara was a fiduciary administrator in a bank’s trusts and estates division. Some co-workers were classified as trust officers, with much higher earnings potential.
Kara requested reclassification to the higher pay grade range, but twice her request was denied. After being downsized out of a job, she sued, alleging failure to promote.
The court tossed out her lawsuit, reasoning that she never requested a promotion. Thus, she wasn’t denied one. While being reclassified might have increased her potential pay, it would not have changed her job duties, which is the essence of a promotion. (Brown v. PNC, No. 1:11-CV-670, ND OH, 2012)