Can my employer demand thatI start work earlier?

UPDATED: Jun 8, 2011

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Can my employer demand thatI start work earlier?

I have a 2 1/2 year old daughter that has been at the same daycare since she was 6 weeks old. I feel very comfortable and my daughter enjoys going there as well. The problem is that her daycare opens at 7:30 am. so I can’t be at my work by 7:45 am; I can be there by 7:50 am. My manager told me that I have 2 weeks to make arrangements and she told me to find another daycare. I feel that I’m being picked on. They allow another assistant to start a 9:00 am because she has a son to get on the bus and I come in early for her on Thursday and Friday to assist. I have been working for this employer for 11 years.

Asked on June 8, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Massachusetts


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

While unfair as this is, your employer is well within its legal rights. The fact is that most employment relationships are what is known as "at will". This means that basically an employer can hire or fire someone for any reason or no reason whatsoever, as well has increase/decrease salary/hours, promote/demote, and generally impose requirements as it sees fit. In turn, an employer can work for an employer, or not, their choice. Exceptions to this would be if there is a stated company policy covering this or there is a union/employment agreement to the contrary. The fact that another employee is given preferential treatment and allowed to do this has no bearing on your situation unless this situation is due to some type of discrimination (although you did not indicate this to be the case).

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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