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Can my employer change my schedule without consent after its already posted? And Can my employer contact me through text message

Redding, CA |

Okay so on Friday my manager wrote in a manager log that I had to work on a day I was scheduled off.. Sunday. I wrote in the log in response to her that I was unable to do so, and that I had already made plans since I was already scheduled off... I worked with her on Saturday all day, and she never said a thing about it.. Maybe 10 minutes after I left the building she sends me a text message stating I had to work tomorrow.. I didn't receive the text. Without my consent or speaking to me in person, they put me on the schedule on Sunday, even after I told them I couldn't. Now remember I was already scheduled off... So they wrote me down as a "no call, No show" and that resulted in them taking me off this weeks entire schedule. I have had no previous write-ups. Is this legal or can I persue?

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Attorney answers 4


Unfortunately, this is a common problem between employers and employees. If you get fired, file an unemployment claim immediately with EDD. Chances are, your employer will claim you quit, in which case you will need to appeal that decision. Based on these facts, you will likely win.

It does not appear, however, that you may have a wrongful termination claim. Normally, such claims arise from circumstances where you have been arrest because of your race religion sex or one of the other protected characteristics under FEHA.

Perhaps they are mistreating you because you complained about illegal activity beforehand. In such a case you may be deemed a whistleblower.

Hope this helps.

Christine Marie Adams

Christine Marie Adams


Attorney Rutledge's answer is also a good one. I would also add that if you believe that there is a basis to assert that your former employer did these things because you recently complained of illegal activity or something you believed was unlawful, you should immediately contact an attorney who specializes in these types of cases. Strict deadlines apply. If you do not follow them, you could lose your right to file a claim entirely.


Unfortunately, the employer is within its rights to change your schedule like this. It's incredibly unfair, but there is no law that prohibits employers from changing schedules on short notice. Furthermore, the severity of the subsequent discipline (I'm interpreting it as a week-long suspension) does not in itself give rise to a cause of action.

In theory there could be a claim for breach of contract and/or intentional or negligent misrepresentation, but in practice these claims would probably be too weak to consider pursuing.

I wish I had better news for you, and I wish you luck.


It is not fair. But it is legal. Employers do not need to get the consent of its employees to assign work schedules. Managers have the right to exercise their discretion in assigning work schedules in any manner they deem necessary for the business, as long as it is not done for an unlawful reason, or violates a collective bargaining agreement or contract.

You could try to discuss the write-up with your manager and if she is not willing to remove it from your file, take it up the chain of command or to human resources. But any corrective action on their part is purely voluntary. If they refuse to change their position on this, it is a clear signal to you what kind of company you work for and whether you wish to continue working for these people. I am not advocating you quit, because you will not be eligible for unemployment, but it may be time for look for another job.

They say you get what you pay for, and this response is free, so take it for what it is worth. This is my opinion based on very limited information. My opinion should not be taken as legal advice. For true advice, we would require a confidential consultation where I would ask you questions and get your complete story. This is a public forum, so remember, nothing here is confidential. Nor am I your attorney. I do not know who you are and you have not hired me to provide any legal service. To do so would require us to meet and sign written retainer agreement. My responses are intended for general information only.


There is no law in CA that requires a certain amount of notice be given for a schedule change. (unless it's in a bona fide employment contract or CBA).

Also, according to the Department of Labor:

"The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) has no provisions regarding the scheduling of employees, with the exception of certain child labor provisions. Therefore, an employer may change an employee's work hours without giving prior notice or obtaining the employee's consent (unless otherwise subject to a prior agreement between the employer and employee or the employee's representative)."

Anand "Lucky" Jesrani is a California attorney. As such, his responses to posted inquiries, such as the one above, are limited to his understanding of law in the jurisdiction in which he practices and not to any other jurisdiction. In addition, no response is intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author; it should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship or other contractual or fiduciary relationship, inasmuch as rendering legal advice involves the ability of the attorney to ask appropriate questions of the person seeking such advice and to thus gather appropriate information. In addition, an attorney-client relationship is formed only by specific agreement. The purpose of this answer is to provide the questioner with general information, not to outline specific legal rights and remedies. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change.

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