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Job Description mean anything? - MA

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  • Job Description mean anything? - MA

    I work as a programmer for a medium sized company with roughly 500 employees. I am a salary employee who has been with the company in the same position for 6 years now. When I was hired 6 years ago my job duties and responsibilities were clearly outlined in my job description.

    Recently our department receptionist has changed from fulltime to part time. My boss has decided that it is now my responsibility to fill in as part time receptionist, greeting people and other receptionist responsibilities for the half day that our regular receptionist is out of the office. This arrangement is not something I was consulted about, nor something that I wish to do. I also think that it is unfair to ask a salary employee who has project deadlines to spend half of their time doing something that was never part of the original job description. If suddenly the grounds keeper quit could I be asked to mow the lawn? What are my rights as an employee? Can I refuse to accept these responsibilities because they were at no time, including now, part of my job description? I love/loved my job when I started 5 years ago and there was no way I would have accepted the job if I knew I was going to be a part time receptionist.

  • #2
    Can I refuse to accept these responsibilities because they were at no time, including now, part of my job description?
    Sure you can refuse, but don't be surprised when you are fired.
    What are my rights as an employee?
    The employer sets the rules as to what responsibilities and duties you are to fullfill and they can change at any given notice---unless you have a bona fide contract stating otherwise or are part of a collective bargaining agreement.
    If suddenly the grounds keeper quit could I be asked to mow the lawn?
    Yes
    Somedays you're the windshield and somedays you're the bug.

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    • #3
      A job description is not a legal document, and every one I've ever seen includes at the bottom, "other duties as assigned". Unless you have a bona fide contract that specifically outlines your duties and specifically says that you can be required to do nothing outside that outline, it is up to your employer what your job duties are, whether you were told about them at hire or not.
      The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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      • #4
        One result: depending upon how much time you spend doing the receptionist type work and other similar functions, your employer may have jeopardized your exempt statuts. In that case, the law would require them to pay you on an hourly basis, including time-and-a-half for overtime.

        You really need to look at why he thinks you're exempt, and whether these additional duties effect that determination.

        Phil
        This post is by Philip Gordon, a Massachusetts employment attorney (www.gordonllp.com).

        This post is NOT legal advice. It is for general/educational information purposes only. You should not rely on this post if you are making decisions, and it does not create an attorney-client relationship. This post may be considered "advertising" under the MA professional rules for attorneys.

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