Can an employer force a full-time employee to go home if there is no more work to do that day?

My husband got to work yesterday and about 2 hours into the workday his supervisor told him and his co-worker that there was no more work and to go home. My husband went over his supervisors head and told the higher up manager that he did not want to go home and he would like to stay and do some work, even if it is in another department. Does this violate some sort of labor law?

Asked on November 6, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Virginia


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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Does this action violate the terms of a union agreement, employment contract, company policy or the like? Does this treatment constitute a form of actionable discrimination or retaliation? If not, then sending your husband home early was perfecty permissable; no law was broken. The fact is that in "at will" employment, relationship an employer can set the terms and conditions of the workplace much as it sees fit or deems necessary.

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