Can an employer offer ultimatums legally or ask you to resign?

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Can an employer offer ultimatums legally or ask you to resign?

I was given a typed paper with no company letterhead on it stating that I had to either take 1 of 2 positions or resign from the company. I asked them to please put this on company letterhead to make it a legal document and they refused and sent me home. I need to know if this type of bullying is allowed in companies as well as how can this piece of paper be a binding and legal document as it just a word document with no letter head and when asked the sent me home from work. This may cost be my job and I need some answers.

Asked on October 11, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Do you have an employment contract? If you do, and if it has any relevant terms (e.g. defining what job you have; setting forth grounds for termation; etc.), then its terms can be enforced and your employer cannot take job action against  you which violates the contract. On the other hand, if there is no contract, you are an employee at will. If you're an employee at will, you may be fired at any time, for any reason, without notice--or have anything done to you that is short of termination, such as being told to take one of two positions or be terminated. This may be "bullying" in a moral sense, but it's not illegal. If you are an employee at will, you have very little job protection, unless you can show you are being discriminated against or harasseed due to race, religion, age over 40, disability, or sex.


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