Q: How much freedom does an employer have to change shift start time?
I am a manager and for the last 2.5 years I have been coming into work at 8:30. They are now asking that all managers come in at 6:45 for a morning meeting. I am not willing to accommodate this schedule. I have purposefully stated only that this is for "personal reasons". They are not yielding and I am worried about being given a formal warning and then terminated. For the last 2 months, this morning meeting has been attended by my assistance and then the information passed on to me when I arrive. This process has had no negative effects on work production for my team. Is there an excuse I can use to make it difficult for my employer to change my start time? Children? Religion?
A: Your employer is generally free to change your hours or shift start time at any time for any reason. In general, there is no recourse for you if your employer disciplines and/or terminates you for failing to attend a mandatory pre-shift meeting. If the reason for your unwillingness to attend the meeting is purely based on personal preference, your employer is not required to accommodate you. If you have a medical reason or a sincerely held religious belief that prohibits you from attending the meeting, your employer would need to consider your request for an accommodation on either of those two bases. If either of those two situations apply to you, you should contact an employment law attorney in your area to discuss your rights.
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