What are my rights if my employer schedules me to work very unreasonable hours?

UPDATED: Sep 29, 2022

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What are my rights if my employer schedules me to work very unreasonable hours?

For example this week I was scheduled to work Monday 7 am to 3 pm, Tuesday Noon to 8 pm, Wednesday 330 pm to 1130 pm, Thursday 11 pm to 7 am, Friday off, and Saturday and Sunday 7 am to 3 pm. My only day off I got off work at 7 am and had to be back to work at 7 am the next day so it really wasn’t a day off. Are there any laws protecting an employee from such scheduling practices? I have mild sleep apnea and this schedule just leaves me a zombie. I have asked multiple times to not schedule me like this and they just ignore me.

Asked on September 11, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Vermont


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

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Is there a union or collective bargaining agreementt or do you have an employment contract that prohibits you from working such a schedule? Is your treatment the result of some form of employment discrimination or retaliation? Does working these hours violate company policy? If not, then as an "at will" employee your, employer can set the terms and conditions of employment much as it sees fit. Accordingly, you can either work your schedule or quit. While seemingly unfair, it's the law.
Note Certain professions have limitations as to just how many ours an employee can be made to work i.e. airline pilots, some medical workers and the like.

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