Are there instances of acquiring insurance as being reason to change employee schedules to very inconvenient ones?

I’m writing to inquire whether or not what my current employer is doing is legal. We are only now being given paperwork for insurance and because of this my boss has told me that employees are now not allowed to work Monday – Friday and must now work on a Saturday or Sunday. The company is open 7 days a week, however I have never heard of a situation where providing insurance to employees required changing a schedule and it sounds like they might be misinforming employees in order to change their schedules without a hassle.

Asked on December 9, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, New Jersey


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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

The fact, rgardless of the change in insurers, in an at will employment arrangement, a company can change the terms and conditions of employment much as it sees fit. This includes changes in work schedules for any reason ot no reason at all, with or without notice. Therefore, unless this change violates the terms of an employment contract, union agreement or company policy, it is perfectly legal. Additionally, your treatment must not constitute some form of actionable discrimination/retalaition.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

It doesn't matter whether the insurance or insurer is causing the change or not--unless you have written employment contracts specifying or setting your hours, your employer may change your schedule at will, at any time, for any reason. They don't even need to tell you the reason, or could tell you it's because of reason A when it's really for reason B. So while what you describe the employer as saying is odd, it's also fundamentally irrelevant, since they could make the change any time they wanted to.

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