Can a fire department require you to change a shift, due to overtime concerns, and then not work you and have you report back to duty on your scheduled shift ?

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Can a fire department require you to change a shift, due to overtime concerns, and then not work you and have you report back to duty on your scheduled shift ?

Due to a storm, part of out department was deployed, they did not want to pay the
men left back that were covering shifts overtime, so they moved people around to
not pay overtime. They employees that were deployed were payed overtime. I was
told to change shifts and then wasnt needed, which left me short of regular pay
hours. I was told to use leave time to cover the difference. Is this
acceptable?

Asked on October 19, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Employers have the discretion to change shifts and schedules, adjust hours, etc. at will, except and only if there is a written contract or union agreement specifying, etc. the hours. And employers may do this even if it benefits some employees while hurting others (this is part of all employment being "employment at will" except to the extent there is a written contract to the contrary). Based on what you write, unfortunately, your employer appears able to do this.


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