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Let's say I've been working as a developer for more than 5 years and all was good. Most of the projects I've worked on changed form and are mostly fully automated now and don't require maintenance or more development anymore.

The current employer might not have more work for me in the same field or similar area and he would offer a designer position. Even though I have the ability to be a designer, this is not something I want to pursue. Or he might offer me a role that is more complex and asks me to learn a different programming language. But I don't want to learn that language for certain reasons (too difficult, people who work in that field is hard to communicate with, or not a good fit).

What are my options? Am I obligated to accept whatever they offer me even though that's not what I was originally hired for? If I reject all the options, and they let me go, will I be considered fired or laid off? Am I going to be entitled to the unemployment benefits if found myself unemployed?

Note: the company is growing and hires 10 new people a month. Not real jobs imho. They got a lot of funding from a state so they do it even though the work is the BS type of jobs. Not sure if they would admit they had no work for me if I leave and try to get on unemployment.

marked as duplicate by gnat, Dukeling, Community Aug 6 '18 at 19:27

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  • It's pretty unusual that developers continue to work at exactly the same work forever. Products change, environments change, markets change, platforms become obsolete, etc. It is useful to learn different skills or else you could end up not having any options at all. If you are really dissatisfied, learning a new skill while job hunting for the better job is a good combination. – DaveG Aug 6 '18 at 13:15
  • @DaveG, people here have been in the same position for 15-20 years. But I understand. I learned a lot already and the company never used my newly gained skills. Some companies put you in a box and won't let you do work even if you gain the knowledge. Big egos here. – Grasper Aug 6 '18 at 13:25
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What are my options?

Depending on how serious your employer is about the change in your position (or think in terms of available work), your options are: take the new role/assigned work, be fired, or find work elsewhere.

Am I obligated to accept whatever they offer me even though that's not what I was originally hired for?

In the USA, where most states are primarily at-will employment, and thus your options are limited (you could be fired for refusing to do work) unless you are part of a union that helps protect the type of work you can be asked to do.

If I reject all the options, and they let me go, will I be considered fired or laid off?

This all depends on the circumstances. You could be fired immediately for refusing work or your employer could lay you off.

Am I going to be entitled to the unemployment benefits if found myself unemployed?

Yes, most likely. This also will vary a bit state to state and if you actually were fired or laid off. In my state, Georgia, it really doesn't matter. Check with your states employment agency on the specifics.

And now for my soap box: Don't refuse to learn something new, even if you don't like it. Do what must in order to stay employed. Better to keep on working, and at the same time find a more suitable work environment for you. Remember it is always easier to find another job if your currently working.

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    In Illinois one of the key questions they ask is "have you refused any offers of employment" - Answering yes to this question in IL can disqualify you from collecting Unemployment benefits. – IDrinkandIKnowThings Aug 6 '18 at 17:07
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You can leave anytime. You are there to provide a certain type of work. If they don't have that type of work for you any more, and you don't want to do the other types of works offered to you, you can simply leave. There should be no reason for any resentment on either side, so talk about this to your employer and mention that you consider to leave to the benefit of both sides. They may offer you a better and/or higher demanding position along with a potential raise.

Avoid becoming unemployed, it always bears the risk of causing you to spiral into personal misery and permanent unemployment. The longer it lasts, the worse it gets. Socialism is not your friend.

  • I don't want to leave. I want to do what I was hired for. If they don't have that type of work that's not my business. It's their lack of planning and bad management but I doubt they would fire me because "they are growing". Lol – Grasper Aug 6 '18 at 13:04
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    Well, then enjoy that isle of government corruption, I guess. You should however consider if doing no work of value is good for your long-term self. Does it help you to improve as an individual? Because you show signs of - without meaning to be offensive - degradation in thought. You are quick to blame others (your corrupt business), have no issues in getting paid for nothing and consider unemployment benefits as a (good?) option. Where do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years with that attitude? Remember, every human perpetuates his own misery. Don't waste your life! – Battle Aug 6 '18 at 13:47
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What are my options?

You could:

  • Do the assigned work
  • Refuse to do the assigned work
  • Quit
  • Talk to your employer, express the kinds of work you would prefer to do and what you would prefer not to do and hope for the best

In you are part of a union, you may have other options. In that case, talk to your union rep first.

Am I obligated to accept whatever they offer me even though that's not what I was originally hired for?

No. As I mentioned, you could refuse to do the work (and likely get fired). Or you could quit.

Nobody can force you to do work that you don't want to do. That would be slavery.

If I reject all the options, and they let me go, will I be considered fired or laid off?

That depends on the nature of the firing and the kindness of your employer. You could be fired for cause. Or you could be laid off.

Am I going to be entitled to the unemployment benefits if found myself unemployed?

Check your state's unemployment laws.

Where I live if your employer had rules that were fair, rules that you knew about, and you broke the rules on purpose, you cannot get unemployment benefits. Also, if you purposely did something that caused serious problems for your employer, you cannot get unemployment benefits.

Many states have different rules.

My suggestion would be to discuss things with your employer. If they insist and if you still feel that you don't want to do the work being offered, then do whatever you are being asked to do to the best of your ability, while you simultaneously look for a new job.

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