Is it legal for an employer to expect me to cover two job titles while being paid at the lesser job salary?

Asked about 1 year ago - Bakersfield, CA

I was promoted to a position while still expected to cover the previous position. Then, several years later stating finances as the cause, I was demoted to the lower job and expected to still perform both responsibilities. Is this legal?

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Marilynn Mika Spencer

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyer agrees


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    Answered . Yes, it is legal, unless you have an individual contract that requires something different or unless there is a collective bargaining agreement (union contract) between the employer and the union that prohibits this. Unfortunately, employees and job applicants have very few employment rights, and employers have a lot of leeway in how they choose to run their businesses. In general, an employer can be unfair, obnoxious or bad at management. And an employer can make decisions based on faulty or inaccurate information. An employer hires employees to provide work for its benefit, not for the benefit of the employees. Don't expect the employer to take care of its employees; it doesn’t have to and it rarely does.

    There are some limitations on what an employer can do, mostly in the areas of public policy (such as discrimination law or whistle blowing), contract law, union-employer labor relations, and constitutional due process for government employees. Please see my guide to at-will employment in California which should help you understand employment rights: After you take a look at the guide, you may be able to identify actions or behavior that fits one of the categories that allows for legal action. If so, an experienced plaintiffs employment attorney may be helpful.

    Employment rights come from the state and federal legislatures. One of the best things people can do to improve their employment rights is vote for candidates with a good record on pro-employee, anti-corporate legislation. Another way to protect employment rights is to form or affiliate with a union, or participate in a union already in place.

    I hope you can resolve your situation and wish you the best. *** All legal actions have time limits, called statutes of limitation. If you miss the... more
  2. Christine C McCall


    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree


    Answered . It is legal unless there is a collective bargaining agreement (union contract) in place that provides otherwise. What you describe had become very common in the years since the onset of the recession, as many employers try to make less staff perform more work. Of course, there will be practical limits and economic points of diminishing returns in these practices. But the law will generally allow employers to make these determinations for themselves.

    No legal advice here. READ THIS BEFORE you contact me! My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended... more

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