Can I be fired due to my childcare not being “flexible” enough?

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Can I be fired due to my childcare not being “flexible” enough?

I have been working at my employer over a year, they have known I am a full time, single mom throughout employment. Upon hiring, I was told my schedule would only be Monday through Friday varing hours. They have changed my schedule twice now. I have been more than willing to rearrange my child care if possible. Recently, they completely changed my schedule agian but this time they have me working weekends. I have spoke to them several times, telling them I do not have child care available on weekends. They tell me “too bad we have given you ample time, figure it out”. Is this fair?

Asked on June 22, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

It may not be fair, but it is legal. Employers may change their employees' schedules at will, so long as there is no employment contract setting schedules. (If there is a contract, its terms are enforceable.) Employers are not required to take employee's needs, not even child-care needs, into account in the absence of some employment contract requiring them to do so.


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