Can a Employer force you to learn other departments job?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can a Employer force you to learn other departments job?

I first applied to my company for the RMA Department position, but now my
employer wants me to learn warehouse just in case if they need a person for
backup. They have been doing this multiple times, and I have had worked in the
accounting department and also few others. Is it legal for them to do this?

Asked on May 7, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, California


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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Do you have an employment contract or union agreement that prohibits this action? Is it against company policy? Does your treatment in some way constitute some form of legally actionable discrimination? If not, then as an "at will" employee, your company can set the terms and conditions of the workplace much as it sees fit. This includes requiring an employee to learn jobs in other dpeartments. At this point, you can comply with this mandate, complain and risk termination or quit.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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