Can a terminated employee receive benefits if they refused to work some Saturdays if it was agreed upon on hire?

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Can a terminated employee receive benefits if they refused to work some Saturdays if it was agreed upon on hire?

We have a unemployment appeals hearing in a few days and wanted to know our legal rights as a employer that let go an employee that refused to work some Saturdays as agreed when hired.

Asked on June 18, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Washington

Answers:

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

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

Unemployment benefits can be denied if a worker was fired "for cause". And absent an employment contract or union agreement tot he ontrary, refusing to work a scheduled shift constitutes cause. 

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

Refusing to work when the employer tells you to work is grounds for termination "for cause," which would deny her unemployment. It does not matter what her availability is or even whether you knew or previously agreed to het availability: as the employerb you may set or change her schedule at will.


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