Can my employer ask me to perform skills that i don't have the training to do?

I have worked in numerous positions with this company from front desk to insurance referrals to secretarial skills to a phlebotomist.  I got my CNA in 1985.  I have not used these skills since being employed by my employer 18 years ago.  I have used the above skills mentioned in the positions.  Now they have partnered with Lab Corp and have replaced my job with one of their employees.  They have asked me to perform some skills that I do not have and skills that I have never used with them.  They have basically given me an ultimatum to perform as they want or else.  Can they terminate me when I have freely told them I do not have the skills or want to use the skills as a nurse?  If it comes to being disciplined, do I have to agree to do something I don't feel qualified to do?  I am supposed to have a meeting next Monday to discuss.  Do I have any rights or grounds to refuse to perform these duties?  Can they cut my pay for something they have changed and not myself?


Asked over 9 years ago in Oak hall, Virginia
Categories: Labour & Employment

Answer Now

Mel Williams

Answer by Mel Williams

VerifiedVirginia lawyer


Your employer cannot force you to practice beyond your CNA certification.  Your employer can request that you practice new skills and procedures within your certification, but obviously you would need assistance in learning and practicing those new skills/procedures. 
If your employer terminates/terminated you for refusing to practice beyond your certification then you could have a cause of action against the employer for wrongful termination.  If you refuse to perform skills within your certificaiton but with which you are uncomfortable then you would have not basis to sue them. 
I know that you posted this question some time ago, but I may still be able to assist you.
If you wish to consult further then please contact me at 540-982-03711, ext. 310, or mwilliams@grimesandwilliams.com.

Posted over 8 years ago

Melvin E. Williams GRIMES & WILLIAMS, P.C. Franklin Commons 320 Elm Avenue, S.W. Roanoke, Virginia 24016 540-982-3711 540-345-6572 facsimile mwilliams@grimesandwilliams.com www.grimesandwilliams.com

Please note that this is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice to you. Legal advice pertaining to your particular situation can only be provided by a lawyer who has met with you to obtain all pertinent background information necessary to give you a formal legal opinion. For formal legal advice, hire a lawyer (many give a free first consultation). Contact Mel Williams, or search the Lawyer Directory.

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