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Forced to work Thanksgiving Massachusetts

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  • Forced to work Thanksgiving Massachusetts

    My employers' worked holidays/holiday pay policy has always been if that the holiday fell on your normally scheduled night you work; if it fell on a non scheduled night then as long as you worked the scheduled shift prior and the scheduled shift following then you are still paid the holiday time.
    This year, our store manager has decided to waiver from this corp. policy of pay and has informed us that ALL 3rd shifters are MANDATED to work Thanksgiving 10pm to 6:30am (even if not our regularly scheduled night of the week) NO EXCEPTIONS or we will forfeit that holiday pay and have a "strike" on our work record. What is more frustrating is that at time of employment there are no holidays listed that are MANDATORY to work and availability sheets are filled out that the mgmnt team signs off on.
    Does our store mgr have the legal right to make this change on her own and are we/am I obligated to be there now on a night that my availability sheet states I am not able that they signed off on?

    Thx for any information you might have!

  • #2
    He has the legal right to make the change. Whether he has the authority within the company to deviate from the standard policy is up to the company. You might want to call corporate and check. The employer does not need to give any legal weight to your stated "availability".

    Having said that, somebody needs to work that day.
    I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.


    • #3
      FYI, although MA has arguably the most employee-friendly laws of any state in the US when it comes to holidays, even in MA it is 100% legal for your employer to make work on a holiday mandatory. Even in MA, there are NO holidays WHATSOEVER that the employer is required to give you off, unless you have a legally binding and enforceable CONTRACT that specifically says otherwise. There is NO state where your "availability sheet" has the force of law. With the same caveat as above, your employer is ALWAYS able to legally ignore it - it is asked for as a courtesy, not as a binding contract that you will never be asked to work on any days other than you have indicated.

      It doesn't matter whether there are any holidays listed as being mandatory work days. If your employer says you work the holiday, you work the holiday, unless you have a legally binding CONTRACT that SPECIFICALLY says you needn't. The law does not have to give the employer permission to schedule you on a holiday - since the law does not prohibit it, it is legal.

      And just so you know, I am also in MA and I will be working at my night job (yes, third shift) on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Years Eve, and New Years Day. That's just the way the schedule ball bounced.
      The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.