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

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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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


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

Answered 4 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.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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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