New job title, but same pay–could it be perceived as a demotion?

Q: “We are reviewing our job descriptions. If a title is changed from Assistant HR Director to HR Tech but there is no change in pay, might it be considered a demotion?” – Patricia, Florida

A: Maybe. Compensation is not the only consideration when determining if there has been an adverse change in the conditions of employment. If the incumbent’s job duties, responsibilities, or benefits are reduced, it’s likely that the change would be considered a demotion. The employee may feel slighted, of course, even if nothing but the title changes, but that alone is unlikely to qualify as an adverse job action significant enough to be described as a demotion.