Can my employer force me to attend a mandatory meeting if it is scheduled during hours that the business is not open?

UPDATED: Jun 1, 2012

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Can my employer force me to attend a mandatory meeting if it is scheduled during hours that the business is not open?

I work for a supermarket chain and work part-time. I have given them written documentation as to the hours which I am available for work and it was approved and signed by a manager of the store. Now they are having a mandatory meeting that is scheduled at 6:30 am when the store isn’t even open for business and are telling me that I have to attend. My normal shift is during the evening anytime after 4:00 pm. Am I required by law to attend?

Asked on June 1, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Florida


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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Most employment relationships are what is known as "at will". This means that an employee can choose to work for a specific employer or not. In turn, an employer can set the terms of employment as it sees fit; this includes the hours and times that an employee must report to the workplace. Accordingly, employers are allowed to hold mandatory meetings and to make employees come into work on their days and/or shifts off. The foregoing holds true unless this violates company policy or there is a union agreement or an employment contract to the contrary.

Note: However, since such a meeting constiute work time, if you are an hourly employee (i.e. exempt), then you are entitled to be paid for this time. To the extent that it puts you over 40 hours for the week, you are entited to OT as well.

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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