Can I refuse to work on my day off?

I was fired today because I refused to work on my day off. Were my rights violated?

Posted 06-12-2013

Steve Duggan replies:

I am sorry to hear about your situation. But, unless there is a law or a collective bargaining agreement (union) actually giving an employee a right to refuse to work certain hours or numbers of hours or to do certain kinds of jobs, then the employee has no right to say “no” to any employer request. Therefore, an employer may respond to an employee’s refusal to work certain hours, or on his day off, or overtime, by terminating the individual’s employment. Employment at will means an employee has the right to quit, without or without a reason or notice, but no other rights beyond that unless specifically granted by the law or a contract. I am not aware of any such law in Texas, or any other state, and you did not indicate you were a union member and had such a right by contract.

Information here is correct at the time it is posted. Case decisions cited here may be reversed. Please do not rely on this information without consulting an attorney first.


About the Author:

Steve Duggan graduated from the Law School at the University of Notre Dame while on active duty in the Air Force. He has extensive experience representing management litigating cases of wrongful termination, employment discrimination, and sexual harassment. Steve also has experience in all phases of administrative litigation of unfair labor practice charges, and class and individual complaints of employment discrimination. He has been an instructor of seminars for supervisors and managers on labor management relations and other personnel issues, and for lawyers in basic and advanced trial advocacy courses. Steve came on board with Fair Measures in 1998.