Can your employer switch your shift with another coworker without notifying you, until the day before…..and then fire you if you do not come in and work that shift for the other coworker?????

I have no job now because i did
not switch shifts with my coworker

Asked on April 20, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Maryland


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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

While seemingly unfair, this last minute shift change was legal. The fact is that employers can generally set the conditions of work much as it sees fit. The exceptions to this would be if your treatment was due to any form of legally actionable discrimination or if this action violated company policy or term of any applicable union agreement or employment contract.  

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Yes, your employer can do this unless you had a written employment contract guarantying or specifying your shift. In the absence of a contract, you were an employee at will; among other things, that means that the employer--not you--has free discretion to assign or change your shifts and hours and may do so at any time, without advance notice. The employer, not you, determines when you work.

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.