Are employers allowed to take your hours if you request a some time off during the day?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Are employers allowed to take your hours if you request a some time off during the day?

I work at a daycare and I am enrolled in college. I received a last minute call from my school asking me to show up the next day to take care of some business. I asked my boss if she can give me 2 hours of lunch starting at 12 to get my business done and she told not to show up to work tomorrow until 2 in

the afternoon. It sounded like she wanted to punish me by taking my morning hours because I asked for an extra hour of lunch. Is she allowed to do that?

Asked on August 20, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Maryland


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Yes, she is allowed to do that. There is no legal right to have extra time off during the work day for your personal business or errands (including relating to college); there is also no guaranty of getting the hours you want; employers have total control over the hours you work, and can change them at will; and since employers may terminate you at any time for any reason at all, including being annoyed at you, they can do anything less than or short of termination, like taking away some of your hours. This is all a part of "employment at will": the doctrine that, except as guaranteed by a still-in-effect (unexpired) written employment contract, an employee has essentially no rights to his or her job. As a result, yes, the employer could do this.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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