Can I be forced to work an alternate workday schedule if that impacts a custody agreement and creates financial hardship due?

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Can I be forced to work an alternate workday schedule if that impacts a custody agreement and creates financial hardship due?

Many of my co-workers and myself are being forced to work on the last Sunday of the month to cover additional workload. However, I’m in a pending custody battle and currently have visitation every other weekend that falls on that weekend. I have requested to be excused that day or to work reduced ours as it takes precious time away from my daughter, could hurt my case and create a financial hardship as I can’t afford the childcare costs that day. Also, they are not allowing us to use any earned vacation time. Do I have any recourse?

Asked on June 20, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

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

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

As a general rule, most employment is "at will". This means that a company can set the conditions of the workplace much as it sees fit. This includes when vacation time is used and on what days a worker can be schedued to report, regardless of financial hardship. Specifically, since vacation is not a mandatory benefit (i.e. an employer need not give it), to the extent that a company chooses to provide it, it has a great deal of discretion over when it is used. The foregoing is true all true unless the terms of a union agreement or employment contract provide otherwise; also no form of legally actionable discrimination can play a role in a worker's treatment. Finally, an employer is not a party to custody battle and therefore is under no obligation to accomodate a worker's need to appear in court.

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

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

As a general rule, most employment is "at will". This means that a company can set the conditions of the workplace much as it sees fit. This includes when vacation time is used and on what days a worker can be schedued to report, regardless of financial hardship. Specifically, since vacation is not a mandatory benefit (i.e. an employer need not give it), to the extent that a company chooses to provide it, it has a great deal of discretion over when it is used. The foregoing is true all true unless the terms of a union agreement or employment contract provide otherwise; also no form of legally actionable discrimination can play a role in a worker's treatment. Finally, an employer is not a party to custody battle and therefore is under no obligation to accomodate a worker's need to appear in court.


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