Can your employer change the job requirements/job description after years of employment?

Specifically, the employer has added a sales component to the job duties and is now threatening job loss as sales numbers have not improved. I need to know if they can rightfully threaten/terminate your job based on the aspect that was not at all a part of the job upon hire?

Asked on July 13, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Washington


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Yes it can. While seemingly unfair, it is legal. That is unless this change of job duties violates company policy, a union agreement, employment contract or the like. Also, this change must not be due to actionable discrimination.

What employees typically do not realize is that most work relationships are "at will". This means that an employer can set the terms and conditions of employment much as it sees fit. This includes changing job requirements and terminating employees as a result (with or without notice). The fact is that an employer may discharge an employee for any reason or no reason at all.

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