CanI legally be terminated for refusing to work an extra day?

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CanI legally be terminated for refusing to work an extra day?

My job hired me as a 32 hour full-time employee over a year ago. Recently my superiors have informed us that the company will no longer be hiring 32 hour positions. We are currently understaffed, and so I fill in holes in the schedule on an as needed basis, but clock over 40 hours most weeks. My superior has also alluded to the fact that I should decide which extra day I would like to pick up. I do not wish to be a 40 hour employee at this job. I need to know if refusing to work an extra day per week is cause for termination?

Asked on July 3, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Yes, for refusing to work an extra day as required by your employer, you can lawfully be terminated. The fact is that most employment arrangements are "at will". This means that basically an employer can hire or fire someone for any reason or no reason whatsoever, as well has increase/decrease salary/hours, promote/demote, and generally impose requirements as it sees fit. In turn, an employee can work for an employer or not, their choice.

Exceptions to the above would be if there is a stated company policy to the contrary or there is a union/employment agreement that prohibits such action. Also, it would be illegal if this situation is due to some form of discriminatiom. Bottom line, based of the facts presented, your employer is well within its rights.


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