Can an employer force me to work on a day I was told when hired that I would not have to ever work?

UPDATED: Oct 13, 2011

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Can an employer force me to work on a day I was told when hired that I would not have to ever work?

Asked on October 13, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Virginia


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Yes, your employer can do this. That is unless you have a union agreement or employment contract that provides otherwise, or if this action violates company policy. Additionally, this treatment cannot be the result of actionable discrimination.

In an at will work relationship, an employer can set the terms and conditions of employment as it sees fit. This includes dictating what day an employee must work. You could refuse to work on this scheduled day but if you do you could be terminated. The fact is that an employer can  terminate an employee for this reason, any reason, or even a bad reason (and with or without notice).

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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