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being hired for an accounting position and then made to work in a coffee/cafe shop or have your hours cut if you don't?

by Christy
(Lexington, NC)

My boss in the accounting office hired me to be a staff accountant in Nov. 2008. In June 2009, she decides to open a coffee/cafe shop in the same building as her accounting office and told me to work there no more than two hours per week which I have done since June. On numerous occasions I have told her I do not want to do that and was not hired for that. Basically, she said if I did not work the cafe, then my hours would be cut at the office. I have told her it causes me stress and anxiety and I did not get hired to work in a coffee/cafe shop several times. Her only suggestion is to cut my hours or for me to find something else.

Hi Christy,

Let me tell you what I think the problem is now by going back to June of 2009.

That would have been the time to say NO! Or at least have made an agreement to the length of time you were willing to do it.

It was at that time that the employer changed the "conditions of hire" and added being a coffee lackey to your job duties of "staff accountant".

Now in February of 2010 you have nine months of apparent "acceptance" of this arrangement.

I could go on and on with various arguments of how the work is "unsuitable" to your training and the possibility of being coerced to work more and more in the coffee shop, but the acceptance keeps getting in the way.

If it bothers you this much you should
ask a lawyer because even I am having a problem understanding how your hours as an accountant could reasonably be cut if you refuse to perform two hours of coffee duties for which is clearly not "suitable work" and you have spoken to the employer about many times.

They are in fact two different businesses .. aren't they? Sounds to me like she's making the coffee/cafe business more profitable by using her accountant to keep the operating costs down.

So if you are working for two different "businesses" how can she "reasonably" change the conditions of one job if you don't work for the other business which you might not possibly show as an employee of.

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