Can an employer terminate you because you cannot work overtime, as it interferes with school?

UPDATED: Aug 9, 2011

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can an employer terminate you because you cannot work overtime, as it interferes with school?

I am returning to college and my normal work shift is 6 am – 4 pm; I signed up for night classes not to interfere with that schedule. My employer now wants me to work 12 hour shifts, 6 am – 6 pm, and that overtime would prevent me from getting to my classes as some start at 5, some at 6. I explained to him that I had school this semester and he told me that he will probably have to let me go. Is this legal, can I be fired because I cannot work overtime because I am going to college?

Asked on August 9, 2011 Texas


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Actually your employer can do this. It is within its rights to demand that you work scheduled shifts. An "at will" employer can hire and fire, as well as set the terms and conditions of the workplace, as it deems fit. Consequently unless you have an employment/union agreement that allows you to work certain hours, or there is a company policy covering this, or this situation as to do with some form of discrimination (i.e. others have been allowed but not you due to your race, age, religion, etc.), you have no actionable claim. 

In short, while its commendable that you are working to put yourself through school, it does not exclude you from working the hours that your employer mandates.

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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption