On at-will employment.

I know this may sound silly, but Halloween has been my favorite holiday since I was a child and is still important to me. I work in the food industry and thinking ahead, I filled out a time off request form for my work and turned it in the week of August 17. I thought that given my forethought and consideration for my employer and boss, I would definitely have the day off, and I didn’t hear otherwise so I even began to plan my costume. To my surprise, I was greeted today (about two weeks later) with a huge sign on my boss’s door saying, “don’t bother requesting Halloween off, all requests will be denied.” I would like to know if this is legal and if I have any rights as an employee. I’m more than willing to suck it up if they are doing things correctly, but if not, I’d like to at least try and talk to my boss about this situation with some reassurance that they don’t have the authority to ban day off requests.

I’m gonna go ahead and assume that you’re not in a union or under contract, in which case, sure, you have plenty of rights as an at-will employee. For instance, you have the right to to quit, strike, or otherwise cease work if you’d rather go party on Halloween.

Your boss has plenty of rights too. Whether you show up on Halloween or not, he can shit-can your ass for good cause, for bad cause, or for no goddamned cause at all.

As long as your employer is paying you the minimum wage, he can do pretty much whatever he wants short of violating your civil rights or trying to fuck you.

Sorry, but the only leverage you’ve got here is your degree of irreplaceability, and in this economy, I guarantee you that ain’t much.

If you’re not willing to quit, then all you can do is say please. Good luck with that, and I hope your Halloween costume comes with kneepads.


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