Can a signed 40 hour job from 9 to 5 change to on-call from 8 to 8 without the employee’s acceptance?

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Can a signed 40 hour job from 9 to 5 change to on-call from 8 to 8 without the employee’s acceptance?

I started a salaried position. I’ve worked for 4 months and was signed on for 40 hours a week from 9 to 5, with the occasional need to stay later. This week, they sent out an email now requiring me to be on-call from 8 to 8 every week single day going forward starting in a month. They will be paying overtime pay if I do have to be called in, however I did not accept this or sign any contract stating that this was okay. Can they legally require this of me without my consent? Also, am I obligated to have to do this if I don’t leave the company?

Asked on April 21, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

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

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Do you have an employment contract or union agreement that guarantees your hours, etc.? If not, then you are an "at will" worker which means that your company can set the conditions of your employment much as it sees fit (absent some form of legally actionable discrimination). Accordingly, your scheduled hours can be changed with or without notice.


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