Q. We run a small printing company and have an employee whom we want to move from the day shift to the swing shift. Although this employee has the most seniority, he has the least experience with the presses we run during the day. When we told the employee of our plans, he said that moving him would be illegal. Is he correct? We are worried that if we move him and he quits, it won’t be the last time we hear from him.
A. Assuming that he is not subject to a collective bargaining agreement or other contract, there is no prohibition on transferring the employee to another shift. In Pennsylvania, he is employed at-will, and the company has the right to change his terms of employment.
However, you want to be sure you are treating him consistently with how you have treated other employees.
For example, are there other employees who have been inexperienced in their job duties? If so, what steps have you taken for them? Do you generally use seniority as the basis for employment decisions? If so, why is this situation different?