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Employment Law/un-notified schedule change while not at work


I live and work In virginia.  The other day after the finalized schedule had been posted a change was made while I was not at work.  Though I did work after the change and before the changed day came, to my knowledge it is illegal to change a finalized schedule while the employee is not at work to agree with the change and they cannot be required to comply with such a change.  I had to cancel my sons counseling appointment due to the change so there's the medical factor as well.

 Am I correct in this and if not could you please clarify what legal protections there are for employees in such a situation?  where I can view the relevant laws online or where I can request official documentation?


Unless you are part of a collective bargaining unit whose contract restricts the employer in making schedule changes, there is nothing in state or Federal law to prohibit what the employer did in your case.  Virginia is an "employment at will" state, and unless some specific statute restricts how an employer schedules its employees, that means the employer can do as it pleases.  There really isn't any affirmative authority I can point you to, because it's the absence of a restriction here that is the key; the employer doesn't need statutory permission to do something that is part of its essential rights.  Since there is no such restriction, the action is lawful.

I know this isn't the answer you were looking for, but I hope it is helpful.  

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Frank C. Magill


I can answer questions about any U.S. labor or employment law question. I cannot answer questions about non-US law. I am not a specialist in employee benefit law (ERISA and HIPAA) or Workers' Compensation law, but will do my best to point questioners toward good resources availabe online. Expertise includes, without limitation, EEO/Affirmative Action/Employment discrimination (Title VII, Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Americans With Disabilities Act, GINA, Fair Credit Reporting Act as applied to employment); Fair Labor Standards Act; Texas labor code; Family Medical Leave Act; employee compensation; discipline and dismissal; force reductions, severance pay programs and administration; collective bargaining, union representation, grievances and arbitration, National Labor Relations Act and National Labor Relations Board; employee handbooks; staffing; dispute resolution outside of traditional labor agreements; employee communications; employment policies and compliance programs; codes of ethics; employment or labor litigation.


30+ years experience as corporate counsel for a Fortune 100 telecom company, specializing in labor and employment law issues. In addition to providing day-to-day advice to my company's internal HR leadership and staff, I've represented the company in numerous labor arbitration cases and at the bargaining table.

Texas, Illinois and Missouri state bars

J.D. 1979, Harvard Law School. B.A., Summa Cum Laude, 1976, Illinois Wesleyan University.

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