Can an employer cancel scheduled shifts without notice?

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Can an employer cancel scheduled shifts without notice?

I was told not to come in for several scheduled shifts because the space we occupy had been seized due to fraudulent activity. I was then called a day later and told it should all taken care of in a few days but that I was only going to be paid for the day that I worked. Out of 5 scheduled shifts I was only allowed to come in for 1. I am full-time and require at least 35 hours a week in order to mantain my insurance. I did not receive a pink slip and I have not been laid off. What course of action should I take?

Asked on February 25, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Connecticut

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Unless you have an employment contract guaranteeing you a minimum number of hours or shifts, there is probably nothing you can do: after all, an employer could fire you, lay you off, suspend you, etc. at will unless there is a contract to the contrary, which means the employer may reduce your shifts. Similarly, the employer could close hs business temporarily or permanently, or relocate it, etc. and you'd have no recourse there.

If there was an employment agreement, you can enforce its terms against you employer; however, in the absence of an enforceable agreement, you likely have no recourse for a reduction in shifts.

The only other option would be if you can show that you were discriminated against in this treatment due to a protected characteristic (e.g. race, sex, religion, age over 40, disability), you may have a discrimination claim.


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