What are my rights if my employer is increasing an already heavy physical schedule?

UPDATED: Sep 29, 2022

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What are my rights if my employer is increasing an already heavy physical schedule?

My employer in a retail environment with moderately heavy physical exertion/repetitive use/heavy lifting, recently started scheduling split shifts, working 5 hours, leaving for 2.75 hours, and working again for 5 hours. We’ve been told that soon we will be working even more of these shifts each week. I’m starting to experience physical problems due to these shifts? Is this legal?

Asked on September 13, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, North Carolina


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

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Do you have an employment contract or is there a uinon agreement that prohibits such action? Does this treatment violate company policy or in some way constititute employment discrimination or retaliation? If not, then as an "at will" employee, your employer can set the terms and conditions of the workplace much as it sees fit. This includes setting the type of schedule that you described. Consequently, you can either comply and work the new hours or quit. For it's part, your employer can either choose to change or enforce it. To the extent that employees do not comply with it, they can be terminated. In fact, at will employees can be discharged for this reason, any reason or no reason at all.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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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