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As it currently stands, there are two writable mappings for the "SUBTYPE" database field, which is not allowed in EclipseLink. If it is not throwing a warning, a bug should be entered so that it does.
Changing this value is not supported, as you cannot change a java object into a different type by changing a flag. You haven't mentioned your setup, but it seems likely getting the cached version of the Employee - one that you just set the subtype attribute to be 'MGR' on back, it should show the version you set. You would need to refresh the object to be sure it is reading in the value from the datastore.