can you really get fired for refusing to work on your off days?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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can you really get fired for refusing to work on your off days?

i have seen my co-worker refuse to work on her off days. I just got written up
for missing a day to come in. Is that possible to do? We already work 12 hour
shifts and are required to have to work at least 16 every week.

Asked on February 4, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Tennessee


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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Unless this action violates the terms of a union agreement/employment contract or constitutes some form of legally actionable discrimination/retaliation, yes you can be fired for not working on what would otherwise be your day off. The fact is that most employment is "at will". This means that a company can set the conditions of work much as it sees fit or deems appropriate. This includes when to schedule an employee for a shift. That having been said, if you are a "non-exempt" (i.e. typically a worker who is paid hourly), then to the extent that you work over 40 hours in your work week, then you are eligible for overtime 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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