Rania Sedhom

Managing Partner at Sedhom Law Group, PLLC
On the record
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  • The short answer is yes, unless you are a collectively bargained employee or have an employment contract. However, if you are an at-will employee, an employer can ask you to help with personal errands and to work on matters that are unrelated to your job as long as the employer is paying you properly under the Fair Labor Standards Act and applicable state wage laws, the job is not harmful to your health, and you are capable of doing the job. Of course, the employer should not be requesting that you perform tasks unrelated to your job that may jeopardize your health.

    In either case, the request needs to be reasonable. If an employee is uncomfortable with a particular task, s/he should voice her concern. Is the task demeaning? Morally or ethically repugnant? Subjecting you to health issues? Check your job description. Most descriptions have all encompassing verbiage like "and other duties as requested by your manager" or "and other duties as assigned" or something similar. This language provides flexibility to the employer.

    29 June 2020
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