Constructive Dismissal comes into play when your employer asks you to work overtime, despite the fact that overtime was not part of the terms of employment. Good luck and best regards, Rob Fortgang Rule #3: Employee Schedule Requests. “You can educate and you can encourage, but you can’t control,” she says of employers. Employers who need to make changes must pay extra hours of pay to the employee for the change. Your employer cannot change the terms of employment. It cannot, however, change your work hours as a way of retaliating against you because you exercised your employment rights, such as filing a discrimination or harassment complaint. Is she allowed to refuse without risk of being fired? The employees were working 37.5 hours per week and the organization decided to move them to 40 hours. These are wages that have zero ROI because the employee doesn’t work them, they are premium pay. Even if it can require a reduction of this kind due to a contract or other agreement (as noted above), your employer cannot simply deduct hours without notice. I had a 19 hour scheduled week posted but now there has been breaks added to a second copy, reducing my hours to 17. For example, an employer may not change an employee's time record from 48 hours to 40 hours in a workweek in order to avoid overtime payment, even if an employee were to consent to the change. On the job My job requires me to have a lot of close contact with many customers . She was hired for days and has worked there for more than 10 years. I also believe that my hours are being manually changed in the computer, reducing. Note: However, in an "at will" employment situation (and most employment arrangements are), an employer can terminate an employee for any reason or no reason at all. Most exempt employees work more hours than is required. If you were hired to work 40 hours a week, but there was no mention of overtime hours, your employer cannot make you work 50 hours a week. Work environments are not static and employers can require employees to work outside of their regular working hours. If your employer can change your work schedule without telling you, it can also discipline you for refusing to work according to the new schedule. She was given a week’s notice to prepare for this change. In other words, as long as you are supplying the employee with the contracted amount of hours – you can ask them to work whenever you need them to. Nancy Brent replies: Dear Wilma, However, if the employer makes a significant change to your work schedule without your agreement, such as requiring you to regularly work evenings and weekends, this may trigger a constructive dismissal. Employees must be allowed to provide schedule preferences to the employer without any negative repercussions. I also believe that my hours are being manually changed in the computer, … Legally, your employer is allowed to change your schedule unless otherwise stipulated in your employment contract. However, if all it states are your hours +/- any set shifts, then they can't do this to you and you could refuse to go in. Wilma. If your contract stipulates that at times it will be necessary to change shifts without prior notice due to the nature of your job, then they can clearly change them. Like your company, the organization decided that exempt employees would see no increase—after all, none of them were working 37.5 hours a week anyway. My employer just forced my co-worker to change her work hours from a day to a night shift. While your employer may argue that your refusal to work the changed hours equals a voluntarily quit, this will likely be viewed a a material change in the terms and conditions of your employment such that you should be able to collect unemployment compensation benefits. 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