Published on November 23rd, 2010 by Alan L Sklover
Question: Can I get fired for refusing to work on my days off, which are Saturday and Sunday?
Brooklyn, New York
Answer: Eddie, unless you have a written employment contract that says you will only be required to work on weekdays, your employer can say to you, in these words or other words, “Eddie, our company’s needs have changed. We now need you to work on Saturdays and Sundays.”
And bear in mind, Eddie, you can also say to your employer, “Boss, my needs have changed. From now on I can not work on Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Saturdays.”
If you cannot work on the days your employer now needs, or if your employer does not permit you to take off days that you need to take off – that is, if you and your employer cannot find an agreeable compromise – either you, or your employer, can simply end the employment relation. In that case, you can find a new employer, and your employer can find a new employee. It is that simple, and it is that “fair.”
Many people don’t find this fair, mostly because at this time it seems so much harder for an employee to find a job than it is for an employer to fill a job. But it’s not always that way. Sometimes and in some situations it is the employer who finds it unfair.
By the way, everything is negotiable. I have no doubt that, if your employer finds you to be their number 1, number 2 or number 3 employee, in terms of value to them, they will not terminate you for this reason. The idea to keep in mind is “How can I be that highly-valued employee, so I can take weekends off?” This kind of thinking is the best kind, as it gives you the negotiating leverage to get whatever it is you want, including keeping your job.
Hope this is helpful to you.
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