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Other duties as assigned - in a job description

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Are you familiar with the term "Other duties as assigned" when it appears in a job description?  This is the single biggest corporate conspiracy facing America's workforce today.

I recently had to give up a job "in the public eye" that I really liked due to health insurance issues (namely, my employer stopped contributing to my family health plan) and forced me to look elsewhere.  Fortunately, or so I thought, I located another job (through an acquaintance at my new place of employment) and was told what my two jobs would be.  Sounded good, the money was fine, the health insurance was cheaper and had better coverage, and it was closer to home meaning more time with my family.

Within the first few days, the "other duties as assigned" started to come into play.  First I had to sweep the parking lot, then change the building's air conditioner filters, then a bathroom fan was making too much noise, and a light ballast was going bad, etc.

I was hired as a manager and as a graphic designer/editor and had no experience (in 25 years of working) in fixing fans or sweeping parking lots.  In fact, I spent my entire career before this, trying to not to have to do these types of jobs.

Other duties as assigned Nothing is beneath me and I don't mind helping out, but when those tasks suddenly become my responsibility and NO mention of such duties was ever brought up during interviews or printed in the want-ad, I have a problem.

But "other duties as assigned" is how they get you and can let you go for refusing to do that work.  Just hire a maintenance guy or a janitor if you want one.  Don't con someone into doing your dirty work by advertising a job for one thing while secretly hiring someone for another.

The whole 'Other duties as assigned' thing may not be illegal, but it is most certainly unethical.

By: Job-Jipped


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marmalade

marmalade

The comment made by 'marmarlade' on 6-Mar-14 22:00, was nothing to do with me!
marmalade
7th Mar 14 07:14

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marmarlade

marmarlade

I had a buddy outta Washington state. He was a law enforcer. A regular guy who ended up working for the Mob. True story.
marmarlade
6th Mar 14 22:00

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Spud McKenzie

Spud McKenzie

I work for a local municipality in the state of Washington as a Certified Geographical Information Systems Specialist. Our city hit an economic rough patch along with everyone else. So, to save money, a number of employee positions were "discontinued". However, those defunct positions' work load was merely passed onto the remaining employees. I am required to REGULARLY do Code Enforcement Officer duties, Graphics Designer duties, and most recently Long Range Planner duties (for which I have NO training or interest). Management seems to think that this is perfectly O.K. under the "other duties as assigned" clause in our Collective Bargaining Agreement. I haven't griped about the additional duties so far, but I've finally reached my limit. I don't have enough time to do even a half-decent job on all of those "extra" duties, and it has negatively impacted my ability to do a good job for those duties that they actually hired me for. Other employees who have also had their work load doubled and tripled have said that management's stock answer is, "Jobs are scarce. You should be happy just to have a paycheck." What a load of B.S.!
Spud McKenzie
6th Mar 14 21:12

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ahforfoulkessake

ahforfoulkessake

Im furious when i read that last comment.
They should have given you some grace but Ive been in a similar thing myself when I had to spend albeit far less money about £60 total which is hard on jsa to do my CSCS test and get card for 30 pounds apiece.
I went to an agency that wanted people for boarding up and cleaning up of council houses when tenantless and said I passed my test but had to sort out money to send off for card. They simply said ok, call us when the card arrives and bring it in to us.
That done, they said, sorry the client wants people with a drivers' licence as well now.
Could have been told sooner. The card took 2 weeks to arrive after i first went to see them.
But that company where you already had the job and were let go is much worse. Hope you can take certs to a competitor of theirs and stick it to them if they hear and ask you back.
ahforfoulkessake
22nd Jun 13 13:09

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thisandthat_stuff

thisandthat_stuff

I was pestered into doing expensive training and exams at my own expense so that I could perform more tasks for the company that employed me by the owners, I passed the exams and got accosted by the owner 3 days later, he asked if I passed, I told him yes as I did, he said "wheres the certificates then??????" I told him that they would take 2 weeks to come to me in the post due to processing time at the College and issuing authority, he sent an under manager out the next morning at 11Am on a Thursday with the message(as always with a Grinning smile) "thats you finished tomorrow, we dont need you anymore things are quiet" in front of all the other staff, my certificates arrived 5 days later having spent nearly 600 pounds getting them, now they are useless as they only fit in with that particular type of employment...
thisandthat_stuff
16th Dec 10 05:02

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New Age Religion

New Age Religion

God, the Great PT Barnum of the Universe, laid down the modus operandi of all creation: "There's a sucker born every minute" . Look throughout the jungle that he has set up. It's dog eat dog: those who are exploited and those who exploit. A hungry predator is a greedy predator indeed. Thou shalt steal, lie and cheat. Love thy neighbour? Another one of God's deceits.

Look around you as all the minions in his great big freak show are at work and play. Pity them. Life, liberty, and the pursuit happiness? That's another joke. There's no European Court of Human Rights in Heaven, no Hague Tribunal. True Justice is more Sicilian in nature, the vendetta being the method.

Our Father who art in Heaven
Give us Hell today on Earth.
Give us today our daily flogging.
Lead us not into thinking about who or what we are.
Watch our backs lest we are stabbed
Thy Will be done.
Omen
New Age Religion
5th Jul 09 08:30

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Mr Hicks

Mr Hicks

My Experience is that where Union activity is weak and the workers are disparate rather than united,the employer can and will exploit the employee.I strongly advise you to contact a union.
Mr Hicks
5th Jul 09 03:27

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I Work In Darkest Africa

I Work In Darkest Africa

I don't have a job specification. I don't have a job description. I am not even allowed to know what job grade I am on, nor the logic of its pay levels. I have a relatively meaningless job title, and an even longer email address. Nonetheless they have expectations and I am measured on those expectations. I usually don't measure up so I have had no pay rises for 5 years.
I Work In Darkest Africa
2nd Jul 09 22:14

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Grumpy xx

Grumpy xx

It's also a useful cop out for employers that want to avoid constructive dismissal cases too. If you dump all the grunt work onto an employee whose face doesn't fit, and can't fire for any justifiable reason without shelling out compensation in an employment tribunal, they will leave soon enough. Who can blame them?

Other duties as assigned, is not meant to be abused. It's a recognition that if you are employed by another organisation you fulfill a job, comprising certain tasks and duties, that belong to the owner. That means you use your skill set to perform work listed in your job specification or maybe take on some overload during a crisis. It doesn't mean that you should fill a vacuum that can be abused to dump all the crap work onto you - that takes up most of your day - perhaps every day.
Grumpy xx
2nd Jul 09 18:31

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Mallory

Mallory

You might not be, Mike, but some of us are! It's a phrase which has featured on almost every job description I've had, and it's often abused as I mentioned previously.
Mallory
2nd Jul 09 17:12

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Mike Pratt

Mike Pratt

Job jipped,I did not know this site was available in the u.s.a.here in the uk we have what is called a "job description".We are not familiar with the term other duties as assigned.
Mike Pratt
2nd Jul 09 09:35

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The Common Brotherhood

The Common Brotherhood

Avast there me hearty. Git back up there in de crow's nest you unspeakable deck swab. Think you were taken on by the common 'venture as navigator? You signed for the duration.. The voyage ain't over yet. One more peep outta you and I'll drown you in the scupper.
The Common Brotherhood
2nd Jul 09 01:29

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Manx Hound

Manx Hound

Job Jipped

Your new employer has stretched the concept of 'other duties' far beyond what anyone with any common sense would consider reasonable. The proposition that undertaking maintenance jobs is within the normal duties of a graphic design manager is not tenable, you should not be expected to fill in simply because the company does not hire the correct personnel or contractors.

Even more worrying, you say you have no training or experience in repairing mechanical or electrical equipment and yet the employer is putting you and others at risk of injury if you fail to complete the jobs in a safe manner due to your lack of knowledge and experience.

The management at your firm are foolish indeed.
Manx Hound
1st Jul 09 18:37

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Mallory

Mallory

Richard - it's not a case of being 'above other duties', at least not in many cases. It's more a matter of the boss asking you to do his work for him to the detriment of your own work, just so he can take off early or have a long lunch. I've no objections to taking on extra work if the boss is swamped, provided my own duties are either reduced accordingly or able to be postphoned; I just object to being used in this way by a lazy boss. I'm sure you would object to that too.
Mallory
1st Jul 09 16:09

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AT300

AT300

No trust me you wouldn't want to be self-employed, you should see some of the things I have to assign myself to do. I work in Landscape Gardening and I have to do menial tasks such as lawn mowing, weeding and bush trimming. I would like to employ some monkey to do this for me whilst I can go and watch the tennis.
AT300
1st Jul 09 15:31

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