Is there a law that limits the scope of the the work that you are assigned to do if it is broader than that for which you were hired?

UPDATED: Sep 2, 2011

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Is there a law that limits the scope of the the work that you are assigned to do if it is broader than that for which you were hired?

I was to repair equipment but my employer has assigned me to install routers that will connect the equipment to our intranet. I was only suppose to install but now I’m having to troubleshoot including the data transfer. I was only given on-line training to install the routers and connections but no further training about the software that it uses. Even the equipment I repair does not have software training. Can my employer insist adding this to my job when our IT department does not even send anyone to train or correct these issues?

Asked on September 2, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Employers set the terms and condition of employment, which includes setting employee's duties and responsibilitis. This means that a company is free to assign an employee to do things which he or shee is not trained or qualified to do--it may be very stupid to do, but the law does not require people (or companies) to be smart, and assigning a person to something he/she is not qualified to do is perfectly legal.

The law does not set any limits on the scope of your responsibilities. A contract might, if you have one: if there is an employment agreement or contract and it defines the scope of your duties or responsibilities, that agreement is enforceable. Otherwise, the company can do what you describe, unfortunately.

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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