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Would this be a case for Constructive Discharge in New Hampshire?

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  • Would this be a case for Constructive Discharge in New Hampshire?

    New Hampshire
    I currently work, and was hired as, a technical support representitive for internet customers. There is about thirteen of us that where hired as well and a new position opened up for 2 web designers. Myself and a friend expressed an interest in moving to that department and made it known to our supervisor.

    After a few months of not getting any info, offer letters, price scale, or even job responsibilities, we have heard from the new department boss we are in his new department. We did not accept this change, nor does my partner even want it at this point. He was told flat out "too bad" your in the department. (there were tidbits of bad things, etc floating around, probably not pertinant at this point)

    Now heres my concern:

    We are expected (because we are the only 2 that have webskills mind you) to do our old jobs, while doing this new job at the same time. Isn't this singling us out? No one else is being forced to do phone support and web design. We never got an offical offer letter, or even what our new salary would be, can they change our job description so drasticly and not do it to our fellow 11 colleges? I was hoping to move to the new department, but not assuming I would still have to pull double duty, and not be paid substantially more for doing 2 jobs at once. (this is a large ISP, and web design/support would be a full time job)

    What can I do about this? It seems that I don't really have a choice, if I find that it is not managable, and managment is unwavering and I quit, is this a case for Constructive Discharge?

    If any further info is needed please let me know.
    Tech3774
    Last edited by Tech3774; 07-27-2005, 11:14 AM.

  • #2
    We are expected (because we are the only 2 that have webskills mind you) to do our old jobs, while doing this new job at the same time. Isn't this singling us out? Sure but there's nothing remotely illegal about that.

    No one else is being forced to do phone support and web design. Presumably because no one else is qualified and/or expressed an interest in the web design openings.

    We never got an offical offer letter, or even what our new salary would be, can they change our job description so drasticly and not do it to our fellow 11 colleges? Yes. They can add cleaning the restrooms and sweeping the parking lot to your job descriptions and only your job descriptions if they wish to. FYI, an employer doesn't have to have job descriptions to begin with.

    What can I do about this? Legally, nothing. Your employer can assign you any and as many job duties they wish to, as long as they do not involve breaking any laws or performing any unsafe acts under OSHA and related safety reg's.

    It seems that I don't really have a choice, if I find that it is not managable, and managment is unwavering and I quit, is this a case for Constructive Discharge? Constructive discharge is not against the law in and of itself. If you were being singled out for double job duty because of your race (for example) for the purpose of making your work environment so intolerable that you'd have no other option but to quit (which is the definition of constructive discharge), then you would have a legal claim to pursue because the underlying issue was your race.

    Just loading you up with work is not illegal. If you're asking whether you would qualify for unemployment benefits if you quit, that's not a question anyone here can answer as it would require detailed knowledge of your State's UC regulations and all the particulars of the demands of your jobs.

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    • #3
      I rarely disagree with Beth and what she says would be accurate in most states, but NH has some unique laws with regards to changing the terms of employment.

      You'll need to give me some time to research them but SOLELY because you are in NH, you may have some protections that do not exist in most states.
      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
        Thanks.

        While I don't think race is the issue here, It just dosn't seem right to me. Thank you for the feedback so far.
        Tech3774.

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        • #5
          Wouldn't changing my employment content and terms without consultation constitute this though? I'm no lawyer mind you but I heard about this somewhere.

          No one ever sat down with either of us and explained what direction they wanted, price, hours, anything. He got just a too bad your in, from the new boss, and I haven't been spoken too yet.

          Thanks.

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          • #6
            Tech, cbg is more familiar with employment laws for the New England States than I am so I just took a perusal through NH's DOL web site and their protected legislation [for employees.] That set of laws is RS 275. I couldn't find any laws address your situation, although NH does indeed have a couple of unique employment laws as compared to other States.

            If you'd care to do some first hand research, NH's DOL web site can be found at: http://www.labor.state.nh.us/ Fortunately, NH's web site is one of the easier ones to maneuver around in.

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            • #7
              Thanks a ton Beth, that will help.

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