Working without a supervisor present?

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Working without a supervisor present?

I’m a shift leader at my work and was just contacted by one of my coworkers. He informed me that the Assistant manger on duty had left after talking to our general manager. That means there is currently no supervisor on duty. All of the current people working are 20 and under and one is a minor. Is this legal? Should the employees leave and refuse to work without a supervisor present?

Asked on September 2, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Florida

Answers:

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

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

Unless there exists an employment contract or union agreement to the contrary, there is no legal requirement that a supervisor be present. The fact is that most work arrangements are what is known as "at will". This means that a business can set the conditions of employment much as it sees fit (absent some form of legally actionable discrimination). Accodingly, if a worker walks off the job due to a supervisor not being present on site, then that worker can be fired. In fact, an employee can be discharged for any reason or no reason at all. 

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

There is no legal requirement for a supervisor to be present to work, unless you are in a union and the union contract contains such a requirement. Otherwise, without a contractual term stating that a supervisor must be present, employers are free to have employees work without supervisors present; and if the employees refuse or fail to work when the supervisor is away, could terminate them.


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