Can my job be changed without my consent?

Can my job be changed without my consent?

Can my employer change my employment duties without my consent?

There are some cases where a change can be made by the employer without the employees’ consent. Employers have the right to change employment duties unless it states strictly in your employment agreement that they cannot do so. The courts may hold the employer accountable for fundamental changes made if the employer unilaterally alters an aspect of the employment terms. The fundamental facets of employment include changes in pay or hours, job functions, or reallocation of job or office. Any fundamental change is tricky to complete for the employer. It requires a great deal of consideration and planning to avoid a constructive dismissal claim filed by the targeted employee.

Areas where an employer cannot legally change employment duties without the employee having the right to file a constructive dismissal claim:

  • The changes were significant,
  • There was no valid business reason to change the role,
  • The changes were not explained or agreed upon by the employee,
  • The employer knew that changes to the employment role would push the employee to leave their job,
  • The employer did not notify the employee within a sufficient amount of time,
  • When the employee was hired, there was no discussion or disclosure of the flexibility of their role or the possibility for changes,
  • The employer did not give the employee enough time to find a different job if they didn’t like the new changes.

When an employee is presented with fundamental changes from their employer, they can make the following decisions:

  • The employee may consent to the changes,
  • The employee may reject the changes and file a constructive dismissal claim if the employer continues despite the rejection,
  • The employee may reject the changes and continue working in their previous role without said changes. However, there is a chance your employer can terminate your role altogether if the changes were mandatory for their business. Employers are capable of terminating the employee’s job if they have cause and have followed the proper procedure in handling the employment changes.

When an employee receives a fundamental change in their duties, the employer may do the following things:

  • The employer can terminate the employee’s employment if they have valid reason and have given a sufficient amount of time for the notice to be in the hands of the employee, outlined in the Employment Standards Act (ESA). It is possible for the employer to offer new employment options to the employee under new terms.
  • The employer may acknowledge that the fundamental changes have not been accepted and they can agree to go on with existing terms.

If any changes were made to your employment duties because of COVID-19, please refer to Constructive dismissals and COVID-19 pandemic article on our page. It will provide insight on how job changes are being handled in response to the pandemic.

If you have further questions or concerns about any changes made to your employment duties, contact KCY at LAW by filling in an online consultation request or contact us by phone at 905-639-0999 to book your consultation today.