Can a person be fired for taking off to see probation officer?

My husband was previously home for vacation from work and he informed his
superior that he would need to be back home in about two weeks to see his
probation officer again. Normally his probation officer schedules his
appointments for the last week of the month. But this time he was scheduled
earlier this month for one reason or another. He normally stays gone 30 days
at a time driving a truck and comes home for 5-7 days. He told his superior the
day he went back to work about having to be back for another appointment sooner
than normal and that he would only take 2-3 days and then come back for the
full 30 instead of his normal 5-7 days off. He said that was ok and now less
than a week later he is told that he has to stay at work because there are too
many other drivers now scheduled to be off for vacation at that time. Im sure
there was a reason that his probation officer scheduled him for that date
rather than a later date like normal. He doesnt want to call and reschedule
because then his superior may get the idea that he can make him reschedule more
and more and possibly jeopardize his freedom. Can they legally keep him from
going home for something this important or even worse can they fire him? We
live in Texas but he works for a company in Oklahoma.

Asked on March 3, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Unless this action violates the terms of a collective bargaining agreement/employment contract or constitutes some form of legally actionable discrimination (which it does not appear to), then it is perfectly permisable. The fact is that in an "at will" employment relationship, a company can set the conditions of work much as it sees fit. This includes whehter or not to give an employee time off to check in with their probation officer. Further, if your huband takes the time off without permission, he can be terminated.


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