Career Advice

What Does It Mean When My Employer Is Not Putting Me On Schedule?

If you’ve noticed a drop in your scheduled work hours, you’re probably wondering, “Why is my employer not putting me on schedule?” The situation can be particularly alarming and confusing if you’re a full-time employee. This article will discuss all the common reasons your employer might take you off the schedule and what you can do about it if it concerns you.

Why Is My Employer Not Putting Me on Schedule?

Before you stress out and assume the worst, consider a legitimately positive reason your employer might not be putting you on the schedule. One reason your employer might take you off the schedule is if you are experiencing a crisis of some sort.

If your job has a computer-generated points system, your manager may have taken you off the schedule so that you wouldn’t get attendance points and ultimately get fired. Perhaps they did it on your behalf because they knew you were having hardships and might not show up.

The lack of your name on the schedule could be a system glitch as well. Something like that is likely to happen if you just returned from medical leave or leave of absence.

That said, there are other not-so-nice reasons your employer might not be putting you on the schedule. Here are a handful of the most common negative reasons they may have axed your workdays:

Unofficial Layoff

Your employer may have decided to lay you off without notifying you and use a roundabout tactic to initiate it. They may do this during slow seasons. First, check your employment status to see whether you are classified as a temporary or permanent employee.

Your employer may have laid you off if you are only temporary, and they may intend to put you back on the schedule next season. You should be eligible for unemployment if that’s the case.


Cutting you from the schedule could be a form of retaliation, which is prohibited by the Equal Opportunity Commission’s guidelines. It occurs when employers take adverse actions against workers who file a complaint against harassment and discrimination.

No employer is allowed to retaliate when an employee exercises his or her rights. However, many of them do, and schedule cutting is a stealth method certain leaders use to circumvent accountability.

Not Enough Hours

The organization you work for may not have enough hours to go around. Thus, cutting your hours down might be a way of balancing things so that they can get through a rough patch. You are highly susceptible to something like this if you are a part-time worker.

Constructive Discharge

Constructive discharge is a subtle way of getting rid of a worker and preventing the company from having to pay unemployment benefits. Its nature is similar to retaliation, but it’s worse because the victims usually have no indication of what they did to deserve the treatment.

You may be a victim of constructive dismissal if you suddenly notice your hours reduced or eliminated for no apparent reason. Unfortunately, the employer may be covertly trying to get you to resign from your position.

Related Article: Can Employer Schedule You Outside Your Availability?

Does Taken Off the Schedule Mean Fired?

Many people assume they are fired because their employer removes them from the schedule. However, you are not terminated unless you receive an official notice of termination and are no longer in the employer’s system. Please be aware that some workplaces keep employees in their systems to make it more difficult for them to collect unemployment benefits.

What if My Job Only Scheduled Me One Day a Week?

Most workplaces have at-will arrangements with their workers. That means they have a lot of leeway regarding termination, scheduling, job tasks, etc. There isn’t much you can do if you are a part-time employee, and your boss decides to give you one day of work.

The employer will have a more difficult time explaining why they did that to a full-time employee, but you will still have to take action if you want to bring the employer into question.

If I’m Not Scheduled To Work, Do I Have To Come In?

You do not have to report to work if you are not on the employer’s schedule. Some systems will even prevent you from clocking in if you are not on the employer’s digital scheduling program for the week.

However, you may still be able to clock in and work at your job if you have an arrangement with them to do so despite being removed from the schedule. This scenario is more likely if you’ve been taken off the schedule due to a hardship or crisis, but you still find your way into work somehow.

Can an Employer Take You Off the Schedule Without Notice?

If you’re wondering whether “Can an employer just stop scheduling you?”, the answer is yes. An employer retains the right to schedule you according to the needs of the business. That right includes reducing your hours if they need to. They can even refuse to schedule you for any hours if the situation calls for it.

Each state has different laws about the notice employers must give their workers before making scheduling changes. New York employers have to give their workers 72 hours of notice, for example.

How Long Can an Employer Not Schedule You?

An employer can keep you off the schedule indefinitely if they choose to. However, you have some resources if you find that you have not received any hours for more than two consecutive weeks.

Is It Illegal To Not Schedule An Employee?

The answer is not simple as it depends on location. The regulations governing employment can vary greatly from one country to the other and even between regions within the same country.

The majority of employment in the United States is “at-will,” meaning that your employer is allowed to change your schedule, cut back on your hours, or cease scheduling you completely without facing any legal repercussions. Unless a contract or collective bargaining agreement indicates otherwise.

But what if your company stops scheduling you as a form of retaliation or due to discrimination? In that case, this could potentially be deemed illegal under
federal law.

So, if you’re wondering, “Is it illegal to not schedule an employee?” the answer is, “It depends.” If you feel that you are being treated unfairly, it’s crucial to be aware of your rights and seek legal advice.

Can An Employer Cut Your Hours As Punishment?

Although it is legal for an employer to reduce an employee’s hours, doing so as punishment or retaliation is not. Employment laws may have been breached if an employer or a manager cut an employee’s hours as punishment.

However, employees are generally considered at-will employees, and employers can reduce their hours unless there is a clear agreement to the contrary with the employer.
Given that the number of hours worked is not always guaranteed, it can often be acceptable for an employer to reduce an employee’s hours.

Some jurisdictions, though, demand that before reducing an employee’s hours, the employer gives them advance notice. An employee may have legal recourse if they believe their hours were reduced as a form of retaliation or punishment.

What Should I Do About My Employer Not Putting Me on Schedule?

The first thing to do if your employer is not putting you on the schedule is to talk to the employer. Talk to the manager who makes the schedule in person and ask them why they removed you from it. Your boss should respond by notifying you of the reason.

He or she should let you know if the company has terminated you from your position, and you should receive the paperwork. Likewise, your boss should explain it to you if they cut or eliminated your hours for another reason.

You may also be asking yourself, “If hours are cut at work, can I collect unemployment?”, the answer is yes. You can apply for unemployment compensation if you’ve lost a significant number of hours or have been terminated. The most important factor is to get proof of your termination. You may qualify for monetary payments if you’ve accumulated enough hours in the last quarter to warrant them.

The EEOC is an organization you can go to if you feel that your hours have been cut or removed because of discrimination or a retaliatory campaign. The last step is to consult with an experienced employment lawyer about your situation.

Some attorneys offer free consultations to assess cases such as yours. You may find that the attorney will help you on a contingency basis if he or she feels your case is strong enough.

Now you know the answer to the question, “What if I’m not fired but no hours have been given to me?” and, “Why is my employer not putting me on the schedule?” Speak to your employer first for clarification and then take the necessary steps to get assistance.

Disclaimer: The details provided in this article should not be construed as legal advice and do not serve as an alternative to such advice. Laws at the state and federal levels are often updated, and the content in this piece might not align with the laws specific to your state or the most recent legal changes. Neither the author nor Eggcellentwork will assume any legal liability that may arise from the use of the information in this article.

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About Author

Founder of With over 20 years of experience in HR and various roles in corporate world, Jenny shares tips and advice to help professionals advance in their careers. Her blog is a go-to resource for anyone looking to improve their skills, land their dream job, or make a career change.

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