Is is legal that I was “voluntarily terminated” by my employer for a new company policy that I was not furnished a copy of?

I’ve been told the new policy states that a prn employee must work once every 90 days. I tried to work but my supervisor would not schedule me and some months my supervisor would not even contact me before completing the schedule. Do I have any rights in this matter? Can my employer terminate me only by contacting me by letter? If I want to file a complaint about my termination who do I contact? Thanks.

Asked on November 30, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Kansas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, in the situation you describe, you probably do not have any rights...that's because unless you had an employment contract, you were an employee at will. As the term "at will" implies, an employee at will may have hours reduced, might not be scheduled for work, or might be terminated, at any time, for any reason. If you had an employment contract, you can enforce its terms (e.g. regarding hours); without one, however, it's most likely that your employer could terminate you--including by not scheduling you for mandatory work--unless you can show that the termination was actually motivated  by illegal discrimination against you on the basis of race, religion, age over 40, sex, or disabiltiy. (That's the federal law; it's possible your state adds a few more protected categories, such as sexual orientation or national origin.)


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