Can my employer tell me I cannot work certain days and times because another individual refuses to work with me?

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Can my employer tell me I cannot work certain days and times because another individual refuses to work with me?

Recently I had a disagreement with a
doctor in my practice. I asked her to
stop being so rude to me, she got
offended. She went to our boss and told
him she refuses to work with me anymore,
and that it was either her or me. She is
a doctor, I am a technician. Therefore I
am much more expendable.
My boss calls me today to tell me I
cannot work my scheduled shift tomorrow,
and I will not be getting paid. I am not
suspended, there’s nothing written, and
the only reason I cannot work is because
it will be with the other doctor.
My boss is also telling my that I must
change my entire schedule if I want
hours to accommodate her schedule. Which
means I can work 1-3 days a week maximum
that are outside my availability.
Is any of this legal? And aren’t I
entitled to my pay for tomorrow with
less than 24 hour notice? My employee is
in warwick, ri

Asked on August 31, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Rhode Island

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, these actions are perfectly permissable unless they violate the terms of any employment or union agreement that you may have. The fact is that most work is "at will" which means that a business can set the conditions of employment much as it sees fit (absent some form of legally actionable discrimination). Accordingly, a company can change an empoyee's shifts, salary, work duties, etc. as it deems appropriate. 


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