Can employer change rules to

My employer recently took away all of our unpaid time off away, which had been built up over the year. Additionally they have a new policy that there is no excused absence. You have to ask for time off 2 weeks in advance but nothing else is considered excused. If sick for more than 2 days, you need papers from a hospital. They won’t except a doctor’s note. Nor will they except an emergency, such as power outages due to a storm, lighting, tornado – nothing. More than 1 unexcused absence within a certain time frame gets you written up and fired. Is this legal and is there anything I can do?

Asked on February 25, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Georgia

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Although no GA law requires private sector employers to provide employees with vacation time, paid or unpaid, if they do “promise” such time they may be legally bound to provide it. So to the extent vacation time has been earned, it must be given. However, moving forward, they are under no obligation to continue to provide it. The fact is that in "at will" employment, companies can set the terms and condition of the workplace much as it sees fit. The exceptions would be in this action violates an employment contract or union agreement, or if it constitutes some form of legal discrimination.


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