Can an employer change your job title and duties to something that has little to do with your old job title and skills?

Asked almost 5 years ago - Los Angeles, CA

I had a new boss come in the company I worked for a long time. He immediately hired a friend and a friend of a friend. He changed my job title to something where he couldn't even explain exactly what my job duties would be. He said in writing, that I would end up doing more of what I had been doing, but that never was the case. My boss ended up hiring 3 people to do the work I used to do (and worked crazy unpaid OT hours to do), and then laid me off because my new job tasks were next to nothing. One of the employees hired as a "senior" person who was technically above me, was far below my technical skill level and I had to train him to do his job. I had no personnel issues or bad employee reviews.

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Steven Alan Fink

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . Unfortunately for you, CA is an at-will employment state. The employer can fire you for any reason or no reason, just not an illegal reason. Hiring friends may sometimes be a stupid reason, but it is not illegal.
    The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change.

  2. Pamela Koslyn

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . It sounds like your new boss has made some financially stupid decisions so that he could hire his friends, but unfortunately it's perfectly legal to a boss to hire their friends and relatives, and if you had no union or written contract and were "at will," the boss can fire you without notice and without reason.

    Such is the pro-business capitalistic society we live in, unlike, say France, where the workers have real rights.

    Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, since each state has different laws, each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.

  3. Alan James Brinkmeier

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . The employer can fire you for any reason or no reason, just not an illegal reason. You need a lawyer. Check with a lawyer in your locale to discuss more of the details.

    Good luck to you.

    God bless.

    NOTE: This answer is made available by the out-of-state lawyer for educational purposes only. By using or participating in this site you understand that there is no attorney client privilege between you and the attorney responding. This site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney that practices in the subject practice discipline and with whom you have an attorney client relationship along with all the privileges that relationship provides. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information and materials provided are general in nature, and may not apply to a specific factual or legal circumstance described in the question.

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