Can you legally be terminated for not coming to work on your days off if requested?

UPDATED: Feb 9, 2011

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Can you legally be terminated for not coming to work on your days off if requested?

My employer has just informed us that she reserves the right to terminate us if we do not accept coming to work on our days off. She says that she can basically force us to come to work on our days off if she requests so, or feel the need to call us in. Is there any legal basis for this statement?

Asked on February 9, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Montana


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The general rule is that an employer can set the terms and conditions of an employment relationship; including having an employee work on their scheduled days off (as well as work mandatory overtime).  Unless a union/employment agreement does not allow for such action, or this situation has arisen due to some type of workplace discrimination, your employer's policy does not violate the law.

Note:  The FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act) requires that some employees be paid overtime when they work more than 40 hours a week.  It divides employees into categories of salaried employees.  These are the “salaried exempt,” who are not protected by overtime laws, and the “non-exempt,” who are entitled to overtime.  Exempt employees are “executives” or administrators”and they are not entitled to overtime.  Unless exempted from the overtime regulations, employees covered by the Act must receive overtime pay for hours worked in excess of 40 in a workweek at a rate not less than time and one-half their regular rates of pay.

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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