What are my rights if my boss changed my schedule after my mother died last week, so now I have to work an extra day?

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What are my rights if my boss changed my schedule after my mother died last week, so now I have to work an extra day?

I told my manager at that I would not be able to work on Tuesday because it was the day of her funeral. Our 2 week work schedule indicated that I was scheduled for work on Tuesday and Thursday. I was not going to be paid for Tuesday, and I wasn’t scheduled for Wednesday, so I was going to unwind after the funeral, relatives staying at my house, etc. I explained that I would return to work on Thursday, as scheduled. The next day (without my knowing anything about this), she changed my schedule so that I’d have to work on Wednesday and Thursday. Had I not worked on Sunday night, I’d have no clue that the schedule had been changed, for no apparent reason.

Asked on January 6, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

While this schedule change is unfortunate it is not illegal. The fact is that most work relationships are what is known as "at will". This means that an employer has the right to change the terms and conditions of the workplace much as it sees fit. This includes last minute changes to an employee's schedule.
The above holds true absent company policy or the the terms of an employment contract or union agreement to the contrary. Also, your treatment must not have been due to any form of actionable discrimination. Otherwise, I'm afraid that you must work the days that you have been scheduled for.


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