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PA/At-Will & shifts and senority Pennsylvania

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  • PA/At-Will & shifts and senority Pennsylvania

    Alright so I do know PA is an at-will employment state, and in this world/culture the employer pretty much has run of the mill while employees are basically stuck doing the bidding of their corporate overlords...but that is another discussion.

    My question:

    I currently work for a large company (has stores nationwide) that has a small branch that handles a small subsection of business. In this branch we have 'teams' that do various things.

    The team I am on currently consists of 17 people. For shifts, we were once all on a rotating shift basically working 1 shift 1 week, the next shift the next week, etc. Basically the shift changed weekly but only rotated between 3 set shifts.

    They changed that. They then moved to shift bids, where seniority allowed you to choose between said 3 shifts.


    Now here's the kicker. We were all called to a room with a new 'policy' taking effect:

    for the most desired shift (AM shift), only 5/17 people are 'allowed' on it, based on seniority. Sadly there are 7 people who regularly (the last 3 years) take that AM shift...so essentially the remaining 12 people aren't allowed to ever work the AM shift due to those with more seniority taking it every shift bid.

    the remaining 12 have to work 'rotating' schedules, basically every 2 weeks work 2 PM shifts.

    so to summarize...5 'senior' employees are allowed to work an AM shift, which means the SAME 5 people will work that shift for the foreseeable future - which will probably be years unless the policy is changed. the remaining 12 must work rotating shifts, forced to work PM shifts, and will never be allowed to work an AM shift due to said employees taking it every shift bid.

    being PA is an at-will employment state i know it gives the employer the right to essentially do what they want unless it involves discrimination, breaks a law, etc. my question is can they subject employees of the same job title and position to such a hierarchy of shift work? the remaining 12 employees will not be allowed to bid based on senority for the remaining 2 shifts, asthey will be forced to work rotating shifts...so the 5 people who take the AM shift consistently are allowed to take it as it's based off seniority, but the other 12 employees can 'try' to get the AM shift, but again, based on the record the same people have taken that shift for the last 3 years so while they have a 'chance' at getting it, due to seniority being something that cannot be changed they will essentially never have a chance to get the AM shift.

    so at this meeting, those same 5 people said they are taking the AM shift.

    all 12 of us, including myself, are upset because we are now subject to the rotating shifts, which are the 2 later shifts, and even amongst us 12 we cannot bid on the shifts it was pre-determined to be rotating. how is that fair, and isn't that considered favoritism?
    TempDude420
    Junior Member
    Last edited by TempDude420; 09-30-2012, 02:24 PM.

  • #2
    Based on what you have said, nothing illegal is occuring. Favortism is not inherently illegal. Senority is not inherently illegal. And 49 of 50 states are at will. And the 50th state is at will some of the time. So what you describe is legal pretty much everywhere, not just PA.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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    • #3
      Originally posted by DAW View Post
      Based on what you have said, nothing illegal is occuring. Favortism is not inherently illegal. Senority is not inherently illegal. And 49 of 50 states are at will. And the 50th state is at will some of the time. So what you describe is legal pretty much everywhere, not just PA.

      So to clarify, you are saying that the employer subjecting 75% of it's staff to rotating shifts with no allowance to shift bid while the remaining 25% is allowed to bid and not forced to work rotatings is not considered favoritism, discrimination or anything of the sort and they are freely allowed to implement such policies?

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      • #4
        It may indeed be favoritism and/or discrimination.

        However, favoritism is not illegal and neither is most discrimination. Unless you are able to show valid and supportable evidence that who gets which shift is determined by race, religion, national origin, or other characteristic protected by law, they may quite legally follow the policy you have indicated in all 50 states.
        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.

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        • #5
          Based on what you posted, I don't see anything illegal being done by your employer. All discrimination does not equal illegal - only discrimination prohibited by law (ie age, religion, gender....). Favoritism is not illegal.

          Sorry.
          Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

          Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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