What are my dad’s options regarding the type of work that he is made to do by his employer?

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What are my dad’s options regarding the type of work that he is made to do by his employer?

My father is working for a farmer as an accountant. It’s a small operation from what I can gather. The farmer micromanages and complains about my father’s work constantly, going so far as to hold employee reviews in a group manner with all employees ratings shared on hand outs for the group. He told my dad, who is 62, that he would need to bring work clothes as he would be working in the fields. He ended up sorting nuts and bolts one day, sweeping the next and is now picking up rocks in the fields. He can’t afford to quit without another job lined up. What are his options, if any?

Asked on May 1, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Unless your father has specific work duties as outlined in an employment contract or union agreement, then his treatment is legal. The fact is that an employer can set the conditions of work much as they see fit. The only exception would be if an employee's treatment constitutes some form of legally actionable discrimination. Accordingly, if your father's situation is the result of age discrimination (that is he is receiving unfavorable treatment because he is over 40), then he would have a claim. Otherwise, his only recourse is to either accept the situation, complain about it but risk termination, or quit.


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