kick someone 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.
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kick someone upstairsBRITISH
If you kick someone upstairs, you give them a job or position which seems to have a higher status but actually has less power, in order to reduce their influence. Peter Greenall becomes managing director succeeding Andrew Thomas, who is kicked upstairs to become deputy chairman. The radicals kicked him upstairs to the then ceremonial job of president.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
kick someone upstairsremove someone from an influential position in a business by giving them an ostensible promotion. informal
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