Hello and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. My name is ***** ***** I will do everything I can to answer your question. As a general matter, no laws govern how an employer may discipline you. This is so because employment is "at will
" absent an express agreement to the contrary or membership in a union. At will employment can be terminated for any reason not amounting to discrimination
on the basis of a legally protected trait (race, religion, gender, etc.) or retaliation
for engaging in certain forms of legally protected conduct (filing a wage
claim, taking FMLA
leave, etc.). It doesn't matter whether the basis for termination
is fair, reasonable or even true. So, since you could be fired for coming in early, even if other employees are doing it and even if you were never told not to, your employer can write you up for it. They need not follow any procedure or process for doing so, and they need not give you a verbal warning first. It sounds a bit harsh, but as an at will employee, your only true job protection is to ensure that your employer continues to want to employ you. This means doing the best you can to follow their directions and maintain a positive working relationship, even when your employer makes that difficult, as they have clearly done here. I hope that you find this information helpful and am genuinely sorry if it is not what you were hoping to hear. Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.