Can my job cut me to part-time just because I need 2 days off?

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Can my job cut me to part-time just because I need 2 days off?

I am a full-time overnight stocker and my mother has had a stroke. I am her medical power of attorney and really need to be able to help her right now. I asked if I could change my availability so that I could have 2 days off together to help her. However, they are threatening to cut me to part-time. Can they do that? I can’t help my mom had a stroke.

Asked on July 9, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Yes, they can do this unless--
1) You have, and use, paid time off (e.g. vacation or sick days) you have earned for any days off you need that they won't otherwise give you; or
2) Your employer is covered by FMLA (at least 50 employees within a 75-mile radius), you are eligible for FMLA (have worked there at least a year, and have worked at least 1,250 hours in the past 12 months), and you use Family and Medical Leave Act leave according to all the FMLA rules (which you can find on the U.S. Dept. of Labor website) for any needed days off they won't voluntarily give you.
Otherwise, whether it is your fault or not, and regardless of how much you need some days off, your employer is allowed to set your hours and shifts, and if you  can't or won't work those shifts or days, can demote you, suspend you, or even fire you. The law doesn't make employers keep and accommodate employees who can't or don't work the days and hours employers want. (And while it's not your fault that your mom had a stroke, remember: it's not your employer's fault, either.)


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