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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
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Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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Employee adjusting schedule for personal reasons

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Does an employer have to say yes if an employee asks to adjust their schedule due to personal reasons? And if the employer says no, must they give the employee a reason? 

Good afternoon and thank you for entrusting me to answer your question.

Do you know what specifically the personal reasons of this employee are for asking for a change in schedule? Does it perhaps relate to a religious accommodation, an illness, or the illness of a family member?

I very much look forward to assisting you regarding this matter.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Apparently the employee's babysitter was in a car accident so they needed to find another sitter.

Thank you for your reply.

Under California law, there are certain circumstances under which an employer may have an obligation to accommodate an employee's request for schedule modification. These circumstances are, for the most part, those I alluded to above--a serious health issue or a religious conflict of some kind. There is also a limited exception for "baby bonding" which permits the parent of a newborn to take up to 12 weeks off work to bond with their child. However, "baby bonding leave" is available only to employees at companies with 50 employees or more.

The circumstance that you describe would not give rise to a legal responsibility to modify the employee's schedule. While it is unfortunate that an employee has no one to watch their child, the law does not afford special protection to employee's who cannot secure daycare services. Thus, an employer in this circumstance would be free to deny the schedule accommodation and if necessary, even discipline the employee for failing to show up to work.

As always, please feel free to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you until you are absolutely satisfied with my answer.

If you do not require any further assistance, I would be most grateful if you would remember to provide my service a positive rating, as this is the only way I will receive credit for assisting you.

Finally, please bear in mind that none of the above constitutes legal advice nor is any attorney client relationship created between us.

Very best wishes to you.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Are we required to give the employee a reason as to why we are saying no?

Thank you for your reply. No explanation would be required for the denial.

Please let me know if you have any further concerns and I will do my very best to address them.
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