Can a supervisor dictate a specific work schedule for one employee in the group and not the others?

I work in a department with 4 exempt employees and a supervisor. Everyone else is currently working a different schedule that is convenient for them, including the supervisor. But I have to keep the standard 9-5 hours. Is this legal?

Posted  04-22-2015

Ann Kiernan replies:

The at-will employment doctrine allows employers to treat employees differently, unless the action is motivated by an illegal reason, such as unlawful discrimination, harassment, or retaliation. From what you have written, it doesn’t sound like there is anything illegal going on. Have you asked the supervisor about the scheduling? Perhaps the reason is the need to have someone in the department during all core hours, which would certainly be a legitimate business reason.

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About the Author:

Ann Kiernan has litigated claims of wrongful discharge and discrimination before state and federal courts and administrative matters before the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights, the National Labor Relations Board and the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission, representing both employers and employees. Ms. Kiernan co-hosted The Employee Rights Forum, a weekly radio call-in show reaching up to a half-million listeners in the New York metropolitan area, and her articles on employment law have been published in many books and magazines. Both as a firm partner and as a director, Ms. Kiernan gained solid experience in management and human resources compliance. She has worked with Fair Measures since 1997.