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Changed work schedule isn’t workers’ comp retaliation

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in Employment Law,Human Resources

A minor schedule change to accommodate medical restrictions isn’t retaliation.

Recent case: Several long-term Hormel employees who had been out on workers’ comp returned to work with a restriction not to work more than 40 hours per week. Then they were moved from a Monday-through-Friday schedule to a Tuesday-through-Saturday schedule. Neither their pay nor their benefits changed. The only difference was that they could no longer earn overtime for working on Saturdays.

They sued, alleging retaliation for having received workers’ comp benefits.

Not so, concluded the court. The schedule change may have been inconvenient, but it was not retaliation. Although they no longer had Saturday as an overtime day, they would not have been able to work more than 40 hours anyway. (Arens, et al., v. Hormel Foods, No. 06-4701, DC MN, 2009) 

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