OD Chatter: Must I Work Weekends?


(Image via Alan Light El Patron restaurant, via photopin (license)

By Debra Dee Bradford

Dear OD Chatter,

I became employed in September 2015 and my boss told me during my orientation that he would not have hired me because I didn’t ask enough questions during the interview but that another manager had decided that I should be hired.  That doesn’t make me feel good but I am happy to have a job so I didn’t say anything.

After 8 or 9 months, working 4 ten-hour days/week (Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday) I asked if I could get a schedule change to have at least one weekend off a month.  My boss said he would see what he could do.  He switched my days maybe once or twice but no permanent change was made even after his boss was willing to change my schedule permanently.  Shortly after this one of my co-workers had a problem working his required hours but was accommodated for a whole month.  This does not seem fair to me.

Signed, Sick of weekend work

Dear Sick of weekend work

Right off the bat it seems as if your manager could use a little buffing and polishing in an area I call his tactful resources.  Those involved in the hiring process need to openly discuss the details of the positions they need to fill, including information about the candidates.

You should certainly discuss your dislike of these comments with your manager.  If it continues beyond that, I would have a conversation with your HR representative.

I can understand why you might want to change your working schedule but from what you share in your question this does seem to be the schedule that you were hired and agreed to work.

Employers are not required by law to make schedule changes but many will make accommodations as part of their benefit packages or corporate culture.

There are also many legal reasons that prompt employers to allow schedule changes.  One possibility, from a list of many is the Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 and amended in 2015   (https://www.dol.gov/whd/fmla/).

This could easily account for why your co-worker was given a one-month schedule change.  Please note: simply knowing that somebody received something that you do not receive DOES NOT automatically mean that your company is treating you unfairly.

In your case after you asked for a schedule change, your boss gave you 50% of your weekends off.  That is a positive move!

Remember the possibilities that are in your situation and keep in mind that the company hired you.  This is your job and you are the one in control of it.  They are showing you that you are valuable by giving you some of your weekends off.

Don’t get distracted from your career goals, manage your piece of the contribution – because what you are responsible for is vital to the overall success of your team and it holds the key to what you really want: upward movement of your career.

Thanks for sending us your workplace question!


Debra Dee Bradford

OD Chatter is written by Debra Dee Bradford, CHRO of ODL Business Partners, Inc. (www.odlbp.com) an HR consulting firm specializing in organizational development and leadership training. She can be reached at dbradford@odlbp.com. Or, send your workplace related questions to OD Chatter at marlenab@odlbp.com.


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