Can my employer put me on the schedule to come in 4 hrs before my shift starts?

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Can my employer put me on the schedule to come in 4 hrs before my shift starts?

I knew that my job mandated, but now they are putting me on
the schedule to come in four hours early and work a twelve
hour shift. Can they fire me for not being able to work it? And
are they aloud to do that? They are now doing it up to twice a
week and I try to find someone to work it, but I can’t always do
that. If I had known they did this, I wouldn’t have taken the job.

Asked on March 13, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio

Answers:

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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Yes, your employer can require you to come in 4 hours before your normally scheduled shift. That is unless having you do so violates the term of a union agreement or employment contract. Also, your treatment must not constitute some form of legal discrimination. Otherwise, as an "at will" employer, your company can set the conditons of the workplace much as it sees fit. This includes scheduling you for an extra 4 hours of work. At this point, basically you can either comply and work the new schedule, you fail to comply with your new schedule, complain and risk termination, or quit. You should note, however, if you are a non-exempt employee, then you need to be compensated for the time that you work. And to the extent it puts you over 40 for the work week, you should be paid overtime.


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