Could I be let go for not keeping up with my work if my workload has greatly increased but not my scheduled hours?

I was hired for a 24 hour position 5 years ago and was informed that I would not get more hours. Last year we got new software which has increased my workload. I requested more hours since I was staying past my 24 hour job. I was told no. Now I am falling behind in my work. Can they fire me or make me work longer over my required 24 hours?

Asked on August 29, 2011 Massachusetts

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you have an actual employment contract defining, limiting, or guarantying your hours, that contract and your hours can be enforced. However, without a contact, you are an employee at will. Employers generally have tremendous discretion to set the terms and conditions of employees, limited only by contract. So your employer may increase your workload or hours if you don't have a contract; and if you are an employee at will, you may be disciplined, suspended, demoted, etc.--or fired--for not getting the work done or not working the requested hours. If you are an employee at will, you have very few rights in regard to employment; your employer may change your job and hours almost at will, and you have to accept the change, quit, or risk being fired without recourse.


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 AttorneyPages.com 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.