Can employer change rules to

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can employer change rules to

My employer recently took away all of our unpaid time off away, which had been built up over the year. Additionally they have a new policy that there is no excused absence. You have to ask for time off 2 weeks in advance but nothing else is considered excused. If sick for more than 2 days, you need papers from a hospital. They won’t except a doctor’s note. Nor will they except an emergency, such as power outages due to a storm, lighting, tornado – nothing. More than 1 unexcused absence within a certain time frame gets you written up and fired. Is this legal and is there anything I can do?

Asked on February 25, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Georgia


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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Although no GA law requires private sector employers to provide employees with vacation time, paid or unpaid, if they do “promise” such time they may be legally bound to provide it. So to the extent vacation time has been earned, it must be given. However, moving forward, they are under no obligation to continue to provide it. The fact is that in "at will" employment, companies can set the terms and condition of the workplace much as it sees fit. The exceptions would be in this action violates an employment contract or union agreement, or if it constitutes some form of legal discrimination.

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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