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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    1

    Default Mandatory Meetings with Short Notice

    My question involves employment and labor law for the state of: West Virginia.

    I'm a third shift worker, and my employer keeps scheduling mandatory meetings in the middle of the day (around noontime, which is right in the middle of my "night" aka sleep-time). It's been frustrating, but I've continued to break up my sleep into shifts in order to attend (we are paid, for the record...for now, at least).

    In the past, we've received about a week's notice, but now the notice is getting shorter and shorter. But tonight when I woke up, I happened to go in to my work email to look for something and see that five hours after I got off work, my boss sent out an email about a mandatory meeting three hours after the email was sent (email was sent at 1, meeting was set for 4). It should also be noted that my weekend began when I got off this morning, as well, so I had no professional motivation to go in and check my email anyway - I typically wouldn't see the email for another two days.

    A roundabout way of getting to my question, which is this: do I have any legal standing if I miss a mandatory meeting because I didn't receive notice more than a few hours in advance (in email form)?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    17,964

    Default Re: Mandatory Meetings with Short Notice

    No. Your employer is being inconsiderate but there is no law that requires your employer to give you any particular length of notice and no law that gives you the right to miss a mandatory meeting with impunity as long as your employer gives you less than x notice.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Mandatory Meetings with Short Notice

    You may also want to CYA. If you are sent an e-mail on your day off or when you are asleep, you should send a non-accusatory, but accurate e-mail response noting that you did not receive the original e-mail in time because you were off work and had no reason to anticipate the e-mail or the meeting. If some “stuff” jumps off later, you want the record to reflect that you did not merely “blow off” any meeting and that if you missed a meeting it was only due to the fact you did not receive notification in time.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Merida, Mexico
    Posts
    1,454

    Default Re: Mandatory Meetings with Short Notice

    ESteele: not only is this not legal advice, it's also bad advice.

    The kind of employer that's this inconsiderate about sending meeting notifications is also the kind of employer that would seriously consider firing an employee for sending the kind of email you recommend. And as you well know, such a firing would be perfectly legal.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Mandatory Meetings with Short Notice

    Not surprisingly, I disagree as to the potential legal and practical benefits of this recommendation.

    Of course, he could be legally fired for almost anything (not contravening a law or a contract) if he is an employee at-will. Nonetheless, I doubt something along the following lines in an e-mail response will put him in additional jeopardy: “I am sorry, boss, that I missed the meeting. I was off Monday and Tuesday, and just returned to work on Wednesday. Earlier this morning I just read your Monday morning e-mail announcing the meeting that afternoon.”

    If his employer fires him for missing a meeting, his paper trail can constitute evidence buttressing his contention with unemployment officials that the only reason he missed the meeting is because the e-mail notice was disseminated when he was on his day off or otherwise off from work.

    Separately, if the company has a human resources department and/or other supervisors involved in the termination process, these managers may very well counsel against discharging an otherwise productive employee for failing to attend a “mandatory” because he inarguably did not receive notice of the meeting. The “gentle” e-mail responses to his supervisor may only help his cause in this regard.

    Finally, we do not know with any certainty whether the scheduling supervisor is an inconsiderate ogre or just a disorganized manager. It is entirely possible this supervisor does not appreciate the fact his off the clock staffers may not receive timely e-mail notice of a meeting scheduled to take place in a matter of hours.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    28,310

    Default Re: Mandatory Meetings with Short Notice

    Finally, we do not know with any certainty whether the scheduling supervisor is an inconsiderate ogre or just a disorganized manager. It is entirely possible this supervisor does not appreciate the fact his off the clock staffers may not receive timely e-mail notice of a meeting scheduled to take place in a matter of hours.
    we also do not know if the employer had told the employees to check their email weekly, daily, or hourly while off the clock.

    since this seems to be a frequent and worsening problem, I would suggest the OP speak with their boss and ask something such as:

    *I really hate missing our little get togethers so, to avoid such a situation in the future, is there some clue you can give me when you are going to schedule a meeting while I'm asleep to take place before I take my morning (your afternoon) crap? I would surely like to be here but with the ridiculously short notice, I just can't see my way to give a damn about meeting you scheduled in my weekend time.

    **In other words; OP might actually speak with the boss about the problem so it does not become a bigger problem where OP's job is in jeopardy.


    *if you don't catch on, yes, that is sarcasm.

    ** that isn't sarcasm

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    17,964

    Default Re: Mandatory Meetings with Short Notice

    And of course, the fact that the UI office might see such a firing as not disqualifying for benefits does not make the termination illegal.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Merida, Mexico
    Posts
    1,454

    Default Re: Mandatory Meetings with Short Notice

    Agree.

    ESteele, where in my post did you see any mention of UI? Nowhere, right? And you know the reason you can't find a mention of UI in my post? Because I wasn't talking about UI. As result, the UI portion of your response to me was completely irrelevant.

    Regarding the other portion of your response, many many people have been fired - legally! - for a lot less than sending a contentious (no matter how politely worded) email to their bosses. And based specifically on the information the OP has provided us, this particular boss sounds very much like the type who would do this.

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