Clinton Township, MI asked in Employment Law for Michigan

Q: I was late for a shift by 1-2 minutes. It was my first tardy. As a result, I was sent home without pay. Is this legal?

I am employed through a 3rd party/contract house. We are asked to arrive 15 minutes ahead of shift. and I typically show up to work 30 minutes early or more and have never been late in my 9 months at the job. I called/texted two supervisors to let them know there were extenuating, verifiable circumstances - multiple crashes and the freeway shut down due to a semi wreck - and gave them my ETA on site which was 3 minutes before shift and told them i may be late but would be there. I arrived at the office door barely 2 minutes late. A recent procedure change at the work place is that supervisors lock the door where employees are given their assignment, at shift start. Unscheduled workers can come to see if work is available, and if you are late at all, they will give your work to that person. I’m required to wait while this happens and would be marked as an absence otherwise - a negative mark on my employment record. I was sent home without any pay. Is this legal?

Related Topics:
1 Lawyer Answer
Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers
  • Grand Rapids, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: Absent a contract, you are generally considered in Michigan to be an "at-will" employee, meaning you or your employer may sever the relationship at any time for any reason. Put simply, you are not entitled to work, making this employer's actions quite likely legal if not a bit draconian.

Whether it's a sensible decision on the employer's part is a different question, and one only the company can answer for itself. Apparently, it works for them.

In today's market, with the availability of jobs, and your status as an outside contractor to this company, you may want to consider whether you want to subject yourself to those sort of rules going forward or take your talents elsewhere.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.