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

UPDATED: Oct 11, 2011

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Oct 11, 2011Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 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.

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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption