Is it legal for my employer to assign additional job duties that aren’t in line with my job description?

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022

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Is it legal for my employer to assign additional job duties that aren’t in line with my job description?

I am an Administrative Assistant and though my job description says my employer can assign additional duties, does that include essentially assigning an entirely different job title/role? This role I am absorbing requires some HR background and has a pay rate of roughly 25k more than what I am making. I am essentially doing the role of an HR Generalist while being paid as and title reflecting as an Admin. While also being referred to in the work place as the Admin, HR and even Exec. Assistant to the CEO and the CFO. I have more than enough proof to show I am not doing the job description I was hired for and have been doing the job description of an HR generalist without the pay raise or title for well over 6 months, quite frankly for the last year. Additionally, in my offer letter, I am entitled to an annual review in which I am confident I would get a pay raise and my employer has pushed this meeting for literal months. My manager accepts the meeting and live time when we go to do it he always forgets he had it and there is always something else that is more important because he is the CFO and we move it. He also clearly isn’t prepared to give me appropriate feedback so it’s like even if he did show up, he wouldn’t be giving me the fair feedback I believe I deserve. For the past 10 months, I have been told that they would be hiring an HR person permanently, however I found out point blank from my manager that they had no intention of hiring them. So he’s essentially admitting to lying and letting me do this work while not paying me for it.

Asked on August 14, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Massachusetts


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Unless these actions violate the terms of an employment contract or union agreement, you have no claim here. The fact is that a business can set the conditions of the workplace much as it sees fit (absent some form of legally actionable discrimination). Accordingly, while arguably unfair, your treatment is legal. 

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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