Can I be forced to work in a medical laboratory?

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Can I be forced to work in a medical laboratory?

I have been notified that my position is being eliminated next month due to a loss of business. I work in a marketing/admin capacity. I have been ordered to report to the laboratory and do whatever I am told to do. I worked in research 15 years ago, but left for sales and am not current in my skills. Last week I was left alone to embed, cut, and stain the tissue from a patient with melanoma. This is not good patient care. It only benefits the laboratory, which is very short staffed. Can I be forced to work in the lab?

Asked on November 30, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Arkansas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you can be forced to work in the laboratory; unless there is an employment contract specifying your job, the employer is free to re-assign you or transfer you at will (also to demote, reduce pay, etc.). If you refuse to work in the capacity the employer tells you to work in, you may be fired for cause--for insubordination, or for violating employer instructions--and be denied unemployment compensation.


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