Can my employer force me to split my shift ?

I work retail and in years past since black Friday can be horrendous, they have asked if anyone would volunteer for a split shift or be able to stay more than 8 hours and some have complied with the requests. However, this year they are just forcing people to work split shifts and when I had asked if there was any way I didn't have to work a split shift they said we didn't have the coverage to have me work my regular 8 hour shift or work an extended shift that we would have people at the wrong times there rather than when they needed them. This year we do have a new manager so that is part of the reason because in years past they did ask and if you said no to either extending or splitting a shift then they didn't force you. I was just curious because I wasn't aware that you could be forced to split your shift because the business doesn't have the right amount of employees for substantial coverage those days. In our handbook there is nothing about working split shifts, so I was just curious because when asking my manager, she said we had to because we need coverage but I didn't know they can just do that to people when most of them are only working an extended or regular shift.

1 answer  |  asked Nov 26, 2013 01:28 AM [EST]  |  applies to Illinois

Answers (1)

Anthony Cameron
Illinois has neither a prohibition against split-shifting nor does it enforce a so-called "reporting rquirement pay." Split Shifts are common and expected in food service.

Here is one thing to watch for. Split shifting can often create overtime by accident. Remember, OT arises when you have more than 8 in a day AND more than 40 in a week. Every time you work splits, graph you time by 24 hour period and see if it runs over. Also, you are still working, presumably, your 8 in a day so you get your 15 minute breaks and a meal break. Splitting doesn't erase the meal break requirement.

Finally, it's OK to point out why the split doesn't work for you (Long commute, whatever) and ask it they'll exhaust volunteers first. Also, if you have a bona fide disability that is exacerbated by the break in service, you may have an ADA/IHRA excuse not to split.

Not much here. Sorry.

Anthony B. Cameron

posted by Anthony Cameron  |  Nov 26, 2013 09:50 AM [EST]

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