Q: Can my schedule be cut back because I was unable to fill in a spot for an employee that fell ill
I have been working for the company for 7 years. My schedule has been set for the last year and a half. One of our employees fell ill, and was unable to make her shift. In the restaurant business it's fairly easy to cover considering we have multiple staff members that are off that day. I was unable to find childcare outside of my agreement I have with my caretaker currently for my weekends at the restaurant. I have been told that my schedule will reflect my inability to cooperate and fill in for somebody. The final decision was either leave my child home alone, he is 12, or have my schedule cut back. Obviously I took the former, family is far more important, & I refuse to allow my child to stay at home. As I am aware that it is not legal in the state of Florida for a 12 year old to be home by themselves for a lengthy amount of time.
A: Barring an employment contract to the contrary, your employer is free to change your schedule. However, this adverse action cannot be done due to a discriminatory reason. Obviously, on the face failing to cover a shift is not discriminatory in nature, but if you feel that the stated reason was pretextual you should consult with an employment attorney as soon as possible.
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