Am I allowed to ask my immediate supervisor about an unfairly made schedule and expect to be given an answer?

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Am I allowed to ask my immediate supervisor about an unfairly made schedule and expect to be given an answer?

Not refusing to follow it, just asking the question.

Asked on September 5, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Alaska

Answers:

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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

In most work relationships, an employer can set the terms and conditions of employment much as it sees fit this includes how to set the work schedule. This is true unles that is this action violates the terms of an employment agreement, union contract or company policy. Additionally, this action cannot constitute any form of retaliation or actionable discrimination.
Therefore, even if the schedule is unfair or affords some preferential treatment that is legally allowable. However, if an employees treatment is due to their being a member of a "protected class" then you would have a lawful claim. So, for example, if differing treatment is based on race, religion, gender, age or disability, then that would be illegal.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You are always allowed to ask--anyone can ask anyone else anything, at any time--but your supervisor is not required to answer you. Note that an schedule is allowed to be unfair, even very unfair, unless the unfairness is due to illegal discrimination. Illegal discrimination is treating an employee different or unfairly because of a characteristic specifically protected by law. The main protected characteristics are race sex religion age over 40 and disability. If you feel you are receiving an unfair schedule due to your race, sex, religion, etc. then you may have a legal claim and may wish to contact the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission EEOC or state equal/civil rights agency to file a complaint.


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