Two months ago, our IT team received an email that a new position had been created in our department. We were informed that our positions would not be impacted. Strangely, my direct manager scheduled and held a call later in the week with just myself and one other person in the department for the exact same topic.
After a new hire was found for this position, I was scheduled a one on one call with my direct manager which was called "IT Update". When attending the call, the HR Director was also on the call (I had no knowledge of this). My direct manager told me that my position no longer existed in the department and that if I did not accept a newly created position in the data department, I would be laid off. I had two hours to accept the new position otherwise I would be laid off anyway.
In order to keep income, I was forced to accept the new position which doesn't fit my skill set well. After signing for the document for the new position, my old job was immediately posted for hire. It is well known that my direct manager does not like me (I'm not sure why). I'd like to go to the owner of the company about this as I've known him closely for the entirety of my career.
There was no layoff package mentioned.
Is this legal?
Would it be worth taking steps to apply to my original position?
When looking for a new position, what would be the best way to put a positive spin on this on my resume and during an interview?