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Employment Law/Vacation Coverage

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Question
I work full-time in an Illinois hospital and am required to find someone to cover any vacation time I take on a weekend (I work every other). Is this legal?

Answer
Mary:

Unless you have a union contract or an individual employment contract which guarantees you vacation without having to find a substitute, (or which grants you vacation without saying anything about substitutes on weekends), I'm afraid the employer is within its rights to impose this requirement on you.  It sounds as if the hospital is having trouble finding people to work on weekends for whatever reason, so they have imposed this requirement to make sure they have sufficient staff on hand.  While it makes things difficult for you and the other affected employees, it is a reasonable action on the employer's part.

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Frank C. Magill

Expertise

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.

Experience

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.

Organizations
Texas, Illinois and Missouri state bars

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

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