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Defamation, Wrongful demotion

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I was hired as an executive secretary to the Vice President of Finance. My boss has resigned and now I am sitting in the hot seat. I was told I would take on duties as a PHO Coordinator (another position from which the individual resigned recently) at the rate of $1.68 per hour (the previous person received $55,000 per year for the same duties I would be doing). I turned this offer down, but then was told it was not an offer, it is an order and I have no choice. I was moved out of my old department and am now in a different building, in a completely different department playing gopher to all individuals above me. This was not the position I applied for when I took on this job. I tried to transfer to a separate entity within the organization, however, a call from the CEO put an end to that as he said I "have an attitude problem." I have never had an attitude problem with any company I have worked for. My evaluations have always been outstanding. My questions are: Do I have to accept all these extra duties assigned to me, even though they have absolutely nothing to do with the job I was originally hired for? Is it considered defamation that the CEO called and lost me a job opportunity? Shouldn't I receive more than $1.68/hour for doing the same duties as the previous PHO person?
I have also recently been told that I may have to take a pay cut since the job I applied for is now gone and I am not considered an "Executive Secretary" anymore. Is there anything that can be done about this situation?



What the CEO did is not legally defamatory, at least in my opinion. Unless you are a union employee, or you have a written contract guaranteeing your position and salary, you can be demoted and transferred. New tasks can be assigned to you and others taken away from you. What you have described is within the legal paramaters of an employer to do, so your only remedy is to find another position at another company. Lastly, the pay question is probably unlawful in Washington state assuming that minimum wage laws apply there.

Mark B. Replogle

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