Can a company take you off scheduling and not let you work but not fire you?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can a company take you off scheduling and not let you work but not fire you?

I am working at a fast food chain and I have been there almost 3 months and before they hired a new manager. I was working 5-6 days a week 5 hours a day. After the new manager started, I went down to 1 day a week, 4 hours that day. When I went in on my scheduled day to work and he has taken me completely off the schedule but has not fired me at all. I was wondering if it is legal for them to take me off completely without firing me?

Asked on October 3, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Yes, it is legal: the law does not require a business to formally fire an employee; rather, they can legally reduce the schedule to nothing or essentially nothing without saying you are terminated. However, that does not mean that you cannot apply for unemployment benefits (assuming you are otherwise eligible): if an employer doesn't schedule you, they have "constructively," or effectively, fired you, even if they don't want to call it firing, and you should be able to apply for and get unemployment. And, of course, you can look for a different job.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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