Can an employer make you change your schedule to give someone else special days because they are a foster parent

I have been working at the same boys home for 3 yrs and I am a single mother. I have done afternoon shifts at first cause I was new and never did see my daughter. I am now working days with only one afternoon. My employer knows that I can not work midnights or all afternoons because of my daughter and this has not been a problem until now. One of the other people I work with is going to be a foster parent to one of our boys that is leaving the system. That foster parent has told our employer that he can not leave this child alone who is 16 and he will have to work all days and can not work weekends. I feel like my employer is making special arrangements for someone else and my child is less important than a foster child.

Asked on August 24, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, West Virginia


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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Will this accomodation to the other employee violate the terms of a union/collective bargaining agreement or employment contract? Will it constitute some form of legally actionable retaliation or discrimination (i.e. based on your race, religion, age (over 40), disability, gender, etc.)? If not, then having you change your schedule, while infair, is perfectly legal. The fact is that giving preferential treatment to one employee over another is not illegal since not all employees need be treated the same or even fairly (unless it constitutes the discrimination as described above). Bottom line, a company can set the conditions of employment much as it sees fit.

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