The project I am working on is closing and the employees are moved out to different departments in the same company. Recently a guy from another department approached me. Later, I came to know that their manager is a notorious micromanager in the company. She has fired few people for no reason in the past as well.

Now I certainly do not want to work with her. I am going to ask my manager to find a new team instead of that one. So, the question: Are employees entitled to refuse to work with a particular manager?
A similar question: Are employees entitled to refuse to take up a role that doesn't match with their skillset

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    Can a company fire an employee? – paparazzo Oct 6 '18 at 2:31
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    lol. that's what I tried to avoid. Managers choose the best fit for their team. But employees cant choose the best team for them! Weird! – Suna Oct 6 '18 at 2:45
  • Entitled how? In the US, there aren't typically any legal entitlements to anything like these; the company can ask you to work in any role/team, and they can fire you for any reason (or no reason). Unless you have a contract that promises otherwise, you wouldn't have any legal recourse. If you don't like the potential assignment, try to find another one that matches your skills & preferences and convince your employer that would be a more effective use of your talents. – Shimon Rura Oct 6 '18 at 2:52
  • thanks for the insights. I believe that working with a micromanager will lead to termination any time. I will look for opportunities outside. – Suna Oct 6 '18 at 4:02
  • If he is a micromanager so he is a toxic manager, why the company still keeps him? What I would do If I was you is to find a preferable manager in another department, and I would say to HR “I would prefer to work with him”, but I would not mention my lower preference to the micromanager (it would sound bad), and it would sound that you give basis to rumors. – Ge Peace Oct 6 '18 at 11:14

Are employees entitled to refuse to work with a particular manager?

That depends entirely on your locale and on your company's rules.

In my locale (the US) there are no laws which compel a company to assign you to a manager you prefer.

And in every company where I have ever worked they never let an employee choose their own manager.

You can certainly express your preferences during the reassignment process. Perhaps that would be taken into account. Perhaps a new manager would prefer that people actually want to be on their team.

Either way, the primary remedy is always to leave the company. There's a saying that says people don't quit their job, they quit their boss. In my experience there's a lot of truth to that.

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  • however, in other companies, say mck, you can choose to not take an assignment. you just then have to find a sostener assignment to take. – bharal Oct 7 '18 at 9:39

An employee may always ask to work in a team of their preference but the company is not obliged to concur.

A refusal to work with someone(especially if there is no prior work or personal relationship) could become a red flag regarding the employee refusing.
Reasons for the refusal for sure will be inquired and quite likely downplayed (in the eyes of the company, if the concerns had any merit, the company would have fired / disciplined said manager already).

The manager could hear of this as well and that will sour the relationship with the employee, disregarding whether or not they're going to work closely together.

So a better approach could be to find reasons why you would like to work with team X or on a certain project, instead of essentially saying I'm afraid to work with manager B.

Also, it isn't quite professional to dismiss working with someone because of hearsay or previous events you have no inside knowledge of.
Plus, it may be perceived as revealing your own potential insecurity regarding your stance in the company or your professional or interpersonal abilities.

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