If I fill out a job application and put my availability on it, am I legally obligated to uphold those hours of availability upon hire?

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If I fill out a job application and put my availability on it, am I legally obligated to uphold those hours of availability upon hire?

Will I be penalized if such hours should change unexpectedly and I request from the manager a schedule change? The job application mentions nothing about the hours of availability being a legally binding contract between the applicant and company, and nowhere mentions if the applicant can or cannot request a change in availability upon hire.

Asked on November 5, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Actually, you would be better of if there *was* a legally binding contract regarding your employment in some way--if there was, you could enforce the hours, which might not always be to your benefit, but sometimes could be.

The problem is, without a contract of employment, the terms and conditions of employment, including hours of employment, are at the employer's discretion and are subject to change at employer win. That is, while the employer is free to modify those hours if it chooses--so you can and should ask, if you need to--it's not required to agree to your request; furthermore, the employer can change the employment hours at will, so it could require you to work different hours, even if you are not in fact available for them. The employer does not have to accomodate employees' hours; instead, the employees must accomodate whatever hours the employer wants, or risk being terminated. So the answer is, you are free to ask, and the employer can accomodate your request for a schedule change; or it might not; or it choose to change your schedule even if you don't ask for an alteration.


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