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Can my employer cancel my shift before I even get there?

Apparently, some employers have started using a staffing policy in which they will tentatively schedule workers to be there and then cancel the shift as few as ten minutes before it starts without paying the employee for any time. Robert Reich, former Secretary of Labor, wrote an excellent piece on this unfair practice. Read more here. The problem is that this practice leads to difficulties for people who care for children or other relatives and unreliable paychecks. It is near impossible to create a budget or arrange childcare if you have no idea if and when you will be paid, but have to be available at your employer’s whim. It benefits employers because they are able to pay employees only when it is most profitable for them to do so.

Connecticut does have some minimum shift rules for certain industries- for example, restaurant and hotel workers must be given a two hour shift unless they are notified the day before the shift that they need not report to work. However, unless there is a specific order preventing an employer from engaging in this practice, it may be able to get away with it.