When it comes to the workplace, almost everyone has a consistent schedule, status, or insurance plan. These are the hallmarks of an organized office, but sometimes some changes occur without any advance notice. In this article, we will take a look at some of the changes your employer can make without any notice.
Five Changes Your Employer Can Make Without Warning You
Your shifts and schedules are subject to change without notice. Unfortunately, nothing is preventing your employer from scheduling you for work during an important exam. However, not all hope is lost, as contracts can prevent this if explicitly prohibited beforehand.
This means that even if you make it clear that you have an exam on the day of your shift and your employer still scheduled you to work on that day, they are not breaking the law. As mentioned above, a contract or some form of a written agreement can prevent this. Yet another way your hours cannot be changed is through the FMLA.
The Family Medical Leave Act states that workers on parental leave must be offered a similar position, shifts, or other conditions before the leave is taken. This is the other form of protection from changes without notice.
No Assurance on Insurance
Insurance is another aspect change that can be made without notice, including the choice of dropping insurance coverage or the amount paid to keep it. Many employers still give their workers notice in advance when they decide to change something about their insurance. Despite this, there is no legal obligation to notify an employee of any of such changes.
Discrimination on who gets insurance or not is prohibited, however. The only way to decide who gets benefits or not is if the employee is full-time or part-time. Beyond this, the employer cannot decide who to provide insurance or not.
Duties Can Change at Any Time
Job responsibilities fall into this category of changes as well. An employer can change the duties you have to do for your job, even if these duties are not always covered in initial agreements. This is especially the case for at-will employees.
While you have the right to refuse the new duties, such as an office worker being told to clean a restroom, you can also get fired. The only exceptions are illegal activity, dangerous situations, and if the request is explicitly discriminatory. Otherwise, you might find yourself doing some extra duties.
The FMLA might protect you from a change in work location, but without it, your boss can change your work location. This is common for healthcare workers or in industries that require a lot of flexibility and movement.
Perhaps you’ve been reporting to the same supervisor for about three years, and suddenly you receive a notice that effective today, you report to another department. Your employer is well within their right to do so and even supervisors are not immune. They can come to the office and find their entire team reassigned somewhere else.
Speaking of supervisors, job titles are also subject to change without notice. Your position might be a senior one, but at your employer’s whim, it can change. Whether the position or title is a demotion or not varies.
Why Don’t Employers Do This All the Time, Then?
These five changes we mentioned above are very disruptive and often cause a lot of confusion and trouble. This can lead to frustration and discontentment, and employees are prone to leave or complain. By informing them in advance, the worker can prepare for the changes and make adjustments.
Companies always want to retain their best talent and kicking them to the curb is not good for employee morale, and team unity. This is why employers try to be courteous and notify everyone when changes like these are made.
Noticing Changes at Your Workplace?
Are you shocked about these changes your employer can make without notice? It’s good to keep them in mind just in case. If you’re curious about more human resources questions, you can find them at HR Resource Guide.