How Long Can An Employer Not Schedule You

How Long Can An Employer Not Schedule You

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How Long Can An Employer Not Schedule You

Hey friend! Have you noticed your name missing from the work schedule lately? That can stir up a whole blender of emotions.

You’re probably wondering:

  • Why did my boss take me off the schedule?
  • Does this mean I’m fired?
  • Is it legal for them to just stop scheduling me?
  • What are my options here?

This handy guide will walk you through everything you need to know if your employer stops scheduling you. We’ll explore all the potential reasons, laws, impacts, and solutions so you can handle this work pickle like a pro. Let’s do this!

Why Your Boss Might Axe Your Hours

Before spiraling into panic mode, keep in mind there are a few legit reasons your manager might cut back your hours. Not all hope is lost!

Riding the Revenue Rollercoaster

When business is booming, schedules get beefed up. When things slow down, hours often get chopped. Your boss might’ve slimmed the schedule to keep payroll under control.

Don’t take it personally if you’ve been temporarily sidelined. They’ll likely ramp you back up when traffic picks up again.

However, if you’re stuck in a permanent ghost shift, it could signal layoffs are brewing. Not the most fabulous sign, but at least you can stop blaming yourself for the schedule slash.

You’re Dropping the Ball

If your performance has been slacking lately, your manager might ice you out to send a message. Attendance issues and misconduct can also land you in hot water.

Think back – have you been bringing your A-game lately? If you’ve been skating on thin ice, a heart-to-heart with your boss could get you back on track.

That said, if you know your work is consistently kick-ass, keep reading. There could be other forces at play.

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Availability Mismatch

Your said you were free weekends. Surprise! Mandatory Saturday overtime. Uh oh.

If your availability doesn’t align with the required hours, your manager has to pull some schedule-fu to make the pieces fit.

Discuss aligning your schedule and see if you can find middle ground. Negotiate in good faith and they’ll likely meet you halfway.

Laws Your Boss Must Abide By

While employers generally have broad leeway over scheduling, laws exist to protect employees from mistreatment. Here are key regs your boss must follow:

They Can’t Punish Protected Classes

It’s illegal for employers to cut your hours because of your:

  • Race
  • Gender
  • Religion
  • Age
  • Disability
  • Or any protected class

If you suspect unfair treatment for discriminatory reasons, it’s time to speak up and start documenting everything. The law has your back here.

Some States Demand Advance Notice

While schedules can change fast in at-will employment, some states require notice before shaking things up.

For example, New York employers must provide 72 hours notice before modifying schedules. Check if advance notice is required where you live.

Company Policy Matters

Did you have an employment contract or handbook promising 40 hours a week? Is policy stating proper procedures for schedule changes?

If your employer violates their own policies, you may have a case for wrongful changes. Consult an attorney to explore your options.

How Your Finances Might Be Impacted

Having your income slashed with zero notice is a jarring jolt. Here’s what to expect money-wise if your hours evaporate:

Is This a Temporary Time Out or Permanent Pink Slip?

First, try to clarify whether you’re temporarily benched or permanently booted from the lineup. Ask your boss directly.

If you’re unsure, file for unemployment either way while you sort it out. Some extra income is better than none.

Filing For Unemployment

If your hours were severely cut, you can likely collect unemployment benefits. Requirements differ by state, but you’ll probably qualify if your income dropped substantially.

Some states let you collect partial benefits if your hours were only reduced. Appeal a denial – many cases can get reversed.

Budgeting Through the Instability

When your paycheck shrinks, so might your patience. Budget carefully, dip into your emergency fund if needed, and pick up side gigs if possible.

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The uncertainty can be stressful, but stay focused on your next move, not the disruption. This too shall pass!

Your Game Plan to Get Back on the Schedule

Alright, time to switch gears from confusion to control. Here are pro tips for getting this scheduling situation sorted:

Have a Heart-to-Heart

Step one is getting the full scoop from your boss on why you’ve been sidelined. Schedule a 1-on-1 chat in a neutral setting.

Ask them directly but calmly why you were removed from the schedule. Gauge whether the issue seems temporary or permanent.

If there was a misunderstanding, clear the air. Make a plan together to address any issues raised. Document your discussion.

Double Check Company Policy

Carefully review your employee handbook, offer letter, or any contracts you signed when hired. Verify the policies on scheduling practices.

Were the proper procedures followed? If not, you may have recourse for the improper changes.

File an Internal Complaint

If you suspect discrimination or retaliation, file a complaint through your company’s HR department and document everything.

Stick to just the facts. Follow up to ensure HR investigates your claim promptly and takes corrective action if needed.

Contact the Labor Department

For wage and hour disputes, file a complaint with your state labor department. They’ll investigate whether pay and scheduling laws were broken.

If they find violations, the company could face fines or be ordered to compensate you correctly.

Lawyer Up If Needed

For more complex cases like discrimination, meet with an employment lawyer ASAP. They can advise if your situation warrants legal action.

If you have a strong case, the lawyer may be able to negotiate a severance package or take action against the company.

Apply for Unemployment

File for unemployment benefits as soon as your hours drop below eligibility criteria. Appeal if you’re denied and feel you still qualify.

Some extra income can help you stay afloat as you weigh your options. Don’t leave this money on the table.

Polish Your Resume

If you feel like this schedule slim down is truly the end of the road, shift your energy towards your next chapter.

Update your resume, start networking, and kick your job search into high gear. The best cure for frustration is progress!

You’ve Got This!

Being left off the schedule is stressful, but handling it strategically minimizes the misery.

Stay cool as a cucumber, get the facts from your employer, know your rights, and take action if needed. You’ve so got this!

With the tips above, you can get back on the schedule or march forward to bigger and better things. Now go out there and show ‘em who’s boss!

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