My job responsibility was completely changed in 2015 to make improvements in the workflow of the department. We were used in a pilot for an upcoming reorganizational change and I had all my new responsibilities mastered. What was considered a 15% of my duties is being changed again—these duties were manageable and had time to do it once a month. Now the new 15% they want to give me is what a co-worker was doing as her 50% of her job duties (was shuffled off to new duties in the reorganization).

I explained one of my supervisor that I already had a lot on my plate, but she does not really seem to care of my concerns. I have to sign my job description, so I asked the head of the entire department for a meeting before signing it (witch sadly I don’t expect much from him—since he was the one wanting the reorganization). The only way to do this additional duties is working overtime, but this company does not allow it nor I will get compensated for the extra work. I’m in a conundrum, should I go to another a higher up next (or HR if I don’t get any results)? Any suggestions when meeting with these people? I am able show statistics for comparisons of those duties (if that could help). I cannot afford losing this job.


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    If this were in the US, you could send your manager an email stating exactly what your issues are; then when you fail to complete all of your tasks as assigned, you'll at least have a written email pre-warning of the fact. You'll still face termination, but at least you'll feel better in the short term. hint: where in the world are you?
    – CGCampbell
    Commented Apr 23, 2016 at 13:47
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    Thanks for the messages! I'm in the US, but I cannot say exactly where. I work for a non-profit institution. The manager that I had before helped with the reorganization, was more hands-on, and spread the job duties well (but left for a better job). My new boss was promoted and is always busy. Getting my job overloaded showed me how inexperience she is. Of course I cannot tell this to my department head. I can only show numbers and how my new JD would account for more than 15% of my time (priority--so a 50% job was compressed to 15%). My main duties are 80% and is also considered priority.
    – Megan Suez
    Commented Apr 23, 2016 at 17:44

1 Answer 1


Every job description, implicitly or explicitly, includes "other duties as assigned." If your management thinks something is part of your responsibilities, and upper management doesn't disagree, it's part of your responsibilities... unless it's illegal, immoral, of otherwise something they really can't ask anyone to do.

If you're overloaded, ask for help prioritizing things if necessary, give them your best estimates of when things will actually be completed on that schedule at a less-than-insane rate of work, and ask if they're OK with that. If not, they can adjust work distribution or target dates appropriately.

If they insist everything is top priority and due yesterday, there isn't much you can do but look for a better manager.

  • I should add that half of the US has "right-to-work" laws that prevent unionization. As Joe Strazzere alludes to in the OP comments, this would be a big mode of getting change to occur. Without a union, I find it highly likely due to @keshlam's answer here that "my job description" is whatever they tell you needs to be done.
    – CKM
    Commented Apr 23, 2016 at 17:43
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    I agree. It's also perhaps better once you have actually experienced the workload, 50% of someone elses tasks can mean different things, I have taken over 100% of an incompetents tasks and found it hardly impacted. And I have many times seen similar scenarios where someones duties were divided between a couple of others with no problems.
    – Kilisi
    Commented Apr 23, 2016 at 22:53

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