Shift assignment is your call, not the employee’s

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in Employment Law,Human Resources

Q. We're looking to switch an employee to a different shift, which will better serve the entire shift. Can we force an employee to change shifts, even if he's not interested? —K.C., New York

A. Yes. Assuming the employee is an at-will employee—which usually means not covered by an employment contract or collective-bargaining agreement—you can change the employee's terms and conditions of employment at any time and for any reason, as long as it's not an illegal reason.

Make sure your shift-change decision is justified by a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason (such as seniority, skills or performance), so that you won't expose the company to a discrimination claim.

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