I am a new hire at this company. After three months, our HR/recruiting rep put in his two weeks' notice. The next day, the VP and my supervisor told me that they would be placing me in the HR/recruiting rep position because our numbers are low and I'm the newest employee so I would the one they would most likely layoff if it came to that. They said this was a great opportunity and after 3-6 months I might want to stay in the position. A few days later, it was announced to the rest of the office staff that I was stepping into this position. I was told that if I "excelled", in 3-6 months I might take this one permanently.
I never filed a change of status or signed a new job description. My previous responsibilities were limited to taking incoming calls from new clients. Now, I am managing paperwork for over 100 employees, and attempting to recruit more field staff.
A week into this role, I filed some paperwork that had been piling up from the last person. Some of it was for the office staff employee files which are kept in a larger space on the other side of the building. I filed those, but couldn't find the file for my supervisor, and I had some paperwork for her too. I took this to my VP, and said that I couldn't find her file among the other office staff employees.
My VP became very upset, and said that I had no authority to handle any of the employee files, which are confidential. She also said that she had specifically told the person that trained me (that I replaced) and the people in HR that I am not allowed to handle those files. She said that is completely outside the scope of my responsibilities. I explained that I had no idea that this was wrong, as the previous person had shown me those files himself and the HR people assisted me in finding the right file cabinet.
The next day my supervisor spoke to me privately and said that she was speaking for the VP as well, and that I greatly overstepped my bounds yesterday and it was a very serious matter that I handled confidential paperwork. She said that I am not allowed to go into the HR department for any reason, and I am not allowed to speak to any of the people in the HR department or ask them any questions, that all questions must be directed to our VP. My supervisor said that she wanted to clarify that I was not being offered or even considered for this position because I am not qualified at all for this position and that the only reason that they put me in this position is because they didn't want to lay me off. And that I better not be disappointed when they bring in someone else for this role.
The next day I pointed out to my supervisor that all the new hires coming in need to go to the main HR department to get their badges and normally the person in my role would take them there. She said that she will escort them there herself. She even went to the HR department herself just to pick up a tiny item - a photograph - because she didn't want me to set foot in the HR department.
This seems very strange to me, but I don't see a specific law being broken. Is this all legal?