kick somebody upstairs
kick (one) upstairs
To promote one to a position that is higher but undesirable or that has little actual responsibility or authority. They kicked John upstairs to an assistant manager position so he would stop griping about his pay.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
ˌkick somebody upˈstairs(informal) move somebody to a job that seems to be more important but which actually has less power or influence: They couldn’t sack him, so they kicked him upstairs onto the board of directors, where he could do less damage.
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