Q: Can my boss force me to take a day off because he doesn’t want to pay me?
I work at an apartment complex as maintenance and my boss brought in a temp cleaner to help us for a few days to get the Unit ready for new renter. He called my supervisor and told them I have to take tomorrow off because they don’t want to pay more than 40 hours for the help for this pay period. In a full time employee this person was temp for a few days and the boss paid them and myself for the job and now the temp is gone and I’m back to my normal routine but being forced to take the day off because he doesn’t want to pay me for normal work hours now since he had to pay another person on top of me turning the cleaning of the unit. Is this legal?
In California you are considered to be an at will employee unless there is an agreement to the contrary about that status with the employer. The employer of an at will employee can change the terms and conditions of the employment at any time and for any reason or even no reason at all. Therefore your employer has the legal right to do what it is doing.
In California, an employer has the discretion to manage its workforce, which includes scheduling and assigning hours.
If you are a non-exempt employee, your employer can legally adjust your schedule, including reducing your hours or mandating a day off to avoid overtime or manage labor costs. This is permissible as long as your employer complies with all relevant wage and hour laws, including providing any required notice for changes in your schedule and ensuring you are paid for all hours you have worked.
However, if you have an employment contract or a union agreement that specifies the terms of your work hours and conditions, your employer must adhere to those terms.
If you believe your employer's actions violate the terms of your employment contract or labor laws, you may consider discussing the situation with a labor law attorney. They can provide specific advice based on the details of your employment and any agreements in place.
Remember, while employers have latitude in scheduling, they must do so within the boundaries of the law and any contractual agreements.
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