We hired an employee about a month ago, and at the time of hire they said they could work weekends. Now they say that they can’t work weekends. What should we do?
Answer from Celine, SHRM-CP:
It depends. In general, if an employee is unable or unwilling to work the hours they had originally agreed to work, and those hours are required to meet business needs, you can discipline the employee up to and including termination. However, if the employee’s inability to work these hours is related to a protected reason (e.g., medical leave), you’ll want to have a conversation about accommodations instead of discipline.
Whether you opt to discipline or terminate the employee, or work around their schedule, keep in mind that these actions will set a precedent for how you’ll be expected to handle similar situations in the future. Making exceptions for particular employees while disciplining others—when the reasons for the change in hours are not protected—could expose you to discrimination claims.
With eight years of customer service experience under her belt, Céline is proud to bring her healthcare and food service expertise to the team. She’s fluent in French and proficient in Spanish, making her nearly trilingual. Céline serves on the board of a non-profit that organizes a citywide music festival. She loves spending her time exploring the outdoors, playing with her nieces and nephews, and cooking.
Vital Signs Insurance Services, Inc.
PO Box 6360
Folsom, CA 95630
Phone: (916) 496-8750
Fax: (916) 496-8754
Legal Disclaimer: The HR Support Center is not engaged in the practice of law. The content in this article should not be construed as legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you have legal questions concerning your situation or the information you have obtained, you should consult with a licensed attorney. The HR Support Center cannot be held legally accountable for actions related to its receipt.