Do I have any rights if I’m an office manager at a private practice dental office and my boss only pays me 50 cents more than when I was just the front desk receptionist?

I am expected to do everything including scrubbing the exam rooms clean and when I asked for a raise he said we simply do not make enough money for him to give me a raise and he cut my hours. He doesn’t make money because he is lazy and only sees patients 2 days out of the week and 5 hours each day. Can I refuse to do certain work scrubbing the exam rooms and scrubbing toilets, etc. without getting fired? Am I really expected to do the job of 2-3 people for only $10 per hour at 30 hours a week? I can’t live off of it. What are my options? Is this legal?

Asked on October 14, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Texas


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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, there may be nothing that you can do about your situation short of quitting. In an "at will" employment relationship and most work relationships are, an employer can set the terms and conditions of the workplace much as they see fit. This includes increasing job duties while not increasing salaries. Further, they can terminate an employee for any reason or no reason at all, with or without notice.
The exceptions to the above would be if you are afforded protection from your employer's action by the terms of a union agreement, company policy or an employment contract. Further, your treatment cannot be the result of any form of actionable discrimination or retaliation.

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