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TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 11784
Experience:  JD, MBA
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Im employed in Michigan. My employer expects all hourly employees

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I'm employed in Michigan. My employer expects all hourly employees to be available 24/7/365. Yet when I hired in, I was informed my hours were 40 per week, Mon-Fri, with occasional overtime. There have been times I've been required to work 45 days straight without a day off. Of recent, I worked 18 days straight and due to extreme temps I decided to call in this weekend, as I'm exhausted. My concern is the fallout from my employer and loosing my job when I return to work on Monday. I operate a
hi-lo and have other physical type job responsibilities.
What are the employment laws in Michigan with regard to consecutive days worked / safety?
Thank you.
Hello and thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you.

I'm sorry to say that there are no laws with regard to consecutive days worked. That is a business decision between you and your employer. In other words, your employer can demand that you work every day, and you can demand that you be given a certain number of days off, and you two either come to an agreement, or you can go your separate ways.

In this situation, you took a stand by not working this weekend. Your employer can either accept that and keep you on the payroll, or your employer can opt to go separate ways (i.e., end your employment). Your employer has that right just as you have the right at any time you choose to quit and find a new job with more favorable terms. If your employer's demands are unreasonable, then he'll likely have trouble finding enough help, and so he may give in. The botXXXXX XXXXXne, however, is that the number of days that you work in a row are up to you and your employer to decide. The law does not interfere.

Does that answer your question? Please let me know if you need clarification, as I am happy to continue helping you until you are satisfied. Also, your positive feedback is much appreciated. Thank you for using our service!

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TJ, Esq. and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for a quick response.

To give you some insight, I have worked for this company 2.5 years and have always complied with my employers work requests. However, I, as other employees, have families, homes, along with other personal responsibilities. To expect an employee to be available 365 days per year, is not acceptable in my eyes. Often, I may not know that I have to work Saturday and Sunday until the Thursday or Friday prior. By then, I may have already planned a family event or have a family event to attend, i.e.; wedding, graduation, etc.

Also not acceptable, is to continue to work when I'm exhausted. In the work environment I'm in, this can cause injury to myself or others.

When I hired in, I was never informed that I have to be available 365 days per year. Does that provide me with an argument if necessary? If an employer informs me on Thursday or Friday that I have to work the weekend after putting in my 40 hours, but have already made personal plans, can I refuse the work without being fired?

Hi again. Thank you for your reply.

Q: When I hired in, I was never informed that I have to be available 365 days per year. Does that provide me with an argument if necessary?
A: No, that doesn't help, I'm sorry to say. Only an employment contract that specifies the days that you work would be helpful. Without a contract, the terms of employment are subject to change at any time.

Q: If an employer informs me on Thursday or Friday that I have to work the weekend after putting in my 40 hours, but have already made personal plans, can I refuse the work without being fired?
A: Unfortunately, the answer is no. You can be fired for any reason, so long as the reason is not based upon illegal discrimination, such as your race, religion, gender, etc. You can be fired for refusing to work the weekend even if you've only be give 1 minute notice. The right of the employer to terminate you like that corresponds to your right to quit just as quickly. For example, your employer could tell you that you must work the weekend, and you could immediately quit. With few exceptions which do not appear to apply here (like illegal discrimination), either the employer or employee can change the terms of employment at any time and for any reason, including whether you will work and remain employed.

I hope that helps. Let me know if you need clarification.