Is there a timeframe associated with an employer demanding a change in a work schedule?

UPDATED: Aug 30, 2011

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Is there a timeframe associated with an employer demanding a change in a work schedule?

My direct supervisor came to me on Friday afternoon stating there was a new directive of having specific team members work mandatory Saturdays. I explained to him that I had already scheduled a medical appointment and that I didn’t feel like I could find a sitter within that short window as my wife was already committed to working Saturday as well. Hours later I was handed walking papers stating I had failed to comply with the increased demand for work hours. Can this be fought? The demand just didn’t seem reasonable.

Asked on August 30, 2011 Illinois


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The fact is, unreasonable or not, an ""at will employer has a great deal of discretion in setting the terms and conditions of employment. Basically, it can hire/fire, promote.demote increase/decrease salary/hours as it deems fit, with or without notice. In turn, an employee can choose to work (or continue to work) for an employer or not.

So unless you have an employment/union agreement to the contrary, or this action violates existing company policy, or is the result of actionable discrimination, your employer has violated no laws. Its actions are perfectly permissible.

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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