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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 12950
Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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I just arrived at work in New york City. However, there

Customer Question

Hi there i just arrived at work in New york City. However, there seems to be some confusion about the scheduling. I was told that I would be off on Tuesday and begin work on Wednesday from 11p.m. to 7 a.m. This meant to me that I would begin my shift on Wednesday night Unfortunately what they meant was that they wanted me to come into work on Tuesday night and work till Wednesday morning
JA: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Im in New York State
JA: Is the employment agreement "at will," union, full time or part time?
Customer: I am a summer releif so its a temporary position However, I am working full 40 hour weeks
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: That is all
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 2 months ago.

Good evening and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. I am sorry to hear about this scheduling confusion. If you would please, can you clarify what your specific question is?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Sure my specific question is; Can the manager that created my schedule can penalize me if my schedule basically said I have to come in on Wednesday night at 11 p.m. but what he meant was Tuesday and it seems that this is a normality amongst the staff
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 2 months ago.

Thank you.

I'm afraid to say the answer to that question is most likely "yes." The reason is because employment in the state of NY is "at will" absent an express agreement to the contrary. At will employment can be terminated (and by extension, simply modified) 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 or modificatio is fair, reasonable or even true.

Thus, an employer could lawfully discipline or even terminate an employee due to a scheduling misunderstanding such as what you describe. Now, just because someone can legally do something doesnn't mean that it is in their best interest to or that they will. Here, your confusion was completely understandable, and any employer who disciplined you for it would just be shooting themselves in the foot. It would not be illegal, but it would be very bad management.

I hope this helps. If I can clarify anything at all for you, please do not hesitate to ask. It is my pleasure to assist you further if necessary....