Work schedule and availabilty for foster parent

I am a foster parent in Kitsap County Washington. My wife and I both work full time I work retail and we currently have three foster children. I have been working at the same job for 7 years and so far they have worked with my availability. Now business needs dictate they are short handed and expect me to work even though I have submitted written notice that we can’t get daycare on certain days. I am legally responsible for the children in our care. Do I have options here or will I have to quit my job?

Asked on March 23, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Washington


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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, unless this action violates the terms of a union agreement or employment contract, as an "at will" employee you have no guarantee as to what your hours will be, even if you were accomodated in the past. The fact is that a company can set the conditions of employment much as it sees fit, absent some form of actionable discrimination. Accordingly, you can either comply with your new schedule, insist on more flexibility but risk termination, or quit.

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