Has your job SCREWED you on New Year's Eve in this way?

I work in a (non-commission) retail store selling holiday & party goods, gifts, toys, etc. Those of us on the closing shift today were told the store closed @ 5pm. A bit before 5, one of the powers-that-be @ headquarters called & said we had to stay open til 6 to draw in last-minute New Years Eve shoppers.

Then, HQ called back, not sure when, & said 7 was now the closing time! SCREW the fact some of us had prior plans, right? In fact, one of my co-workers sadly said she heard that if you left the shift early, even if you HAD to because you were hosting a party you couldn't cancel because guests were already en route to your home, you may as well quit, since otherwise you'd be FIRED!

I feel this practice is unprofessional & unfair. It's one thing to stay a half hour later than scheduled, if delays pop up. I don't mind that. It's quite ANOTHER thing to be forced, with NO prior notice of the possiblity, to stay 2 hours later than scheduled! My NYE plans were ruined.

Anyone else?


Just for the record (I think a few folks misunderstood) -- their was no threat from the boss or management.

The thing about the firing was info from a co-worker, who was as unhappy about the situation as I was. She's worked there a few years, and told me the sad truth -- that management would most likely fire any of us, if we chose to leave when our shift was scheduled to be over, instead of staying for the 2 extra hours.

I'm not inflexible, and I understand retail is "different" from other jobs. I just wish the powers-that-be could have FOREWARNED us, when deciding who'd work this shift, that the closing time might unexpectedly be EXTENDED. Then at least those of us on this shift could have taken that into account, when making personal NYE plans. But we weren't even given the courtesy of fair warning, that this might happen to us!

And ironically enough, the last 30-45 minutes of biz were pretty much DEAD! :(

Update 2:

Thanks to everyone: I appreciated ALL your answers. :) My faves were those from "Spackler", "Me", and "Graydon902". But I can only pick one Best Answer, so....

12 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Business-wise, I do not believe they could have legally fired you for leaving at the time the store closed orginally (at 5), unless, as Sarah said, it was under the fine print in your contract. I still would say your boss has a lot of nerve if he/she threatened that!

    Aw, that sucks. Yeah, I've been asked to work later than the original "closing time" at a bookstore I used to work at, but only to help with shipments and never under any threat. I was also paid time-and-a-half for it. If your boss is as miserable as he/she sounds, and has threatened you, you are probably best of checking the papers for a different job - unless you are getting paid well (doubt it;).

    I hope you get something far better in the New Year! Happy 2007!

  • 1 decade ago

    What they are telling you is correct, a company has the right to adjust hours at the last minute. But they should have told you that it was possible that you may have to stay later.

    But it could be worse...I had to work 12 hours on New Year's Eve and worked until 10pm. I do security, and the person covering the overnight shift called in sick and we could not get anyone else to cover. My co-worker ended up working a 16 hour shift and will go home at 6am, so his entire NYE was spent at work. If he could not have covered, I would have been there for 20 straight hours because we cannot abandon a post.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Working in retail can be unpredictable. If you are busy then I can see why they wanted you all to stay later. If you weren't busy and they just wanted you there, than that is completely unjustified.

    I am not siding with the management or anything; I just used to work in retail and know what can happen when a store is really busy before a holiday. I worked in the men's department of a major department store, and we were busy the night before Father's Day. I told these people who were in the store 15 minutes after it closed that they announced the store closing 15 minutes ago, and I got into trouble just for THAT! Even though the woman was a total be-otch to me and the customer I was ringing up, the store management sided with her 100%.

    Lesson learned: when it comes to retail, if there is a buck still to be made, that takes priority over any of their associates needs.

  • 1 decade ago

    I'm so sorry to hear that. That's pretty rude. They should have planned staying open 'til seven earlier in advance. Most people have things planned on New Year's Eve. That just sounds like some greedy, inconsiderate people on a power trip!!

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  • 1 decade ago

    Yes, it does sound pretty bad, but in this day and age, alot of 'management' types would say 'be glad you got a job sister'. I just got off at 11pm, so I couldn't make any plans. Not that I would go out, but I'm home now with my husband and my granddaughter. Happy New Year to you!!! May 2007 bring for you a better job with better hours!!!

  • Sara
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago


    Yeah I've had this happen to me back in my Wal*mart retail days. And depending on how your employment contract is worded, it is COMPLETELY legal. It sucks but they get away with it. I would find a new job. It stinks paying your dues like this but what else can ya do, course now I have a good job with lots of vacation time. Keep your chin up and get the hell out like I did.

    Happy New Year!!!

  • 1 decade ago

    Your application probably has somewhere in the fine print that overtime may be EXPECTED of you, and though the scenario you mention SUCKS, they can fire you! MAYBE that is the underlying agenda????? Just a thought........

    (It's that time of the year to CUT labor, and "layoff" or "economic termination" means you can go on unemployment, so to FIRE someone is better, from a business standpoint.......)

    Source(s): Painfully Employed for over 29 years! :)
  • 1 decade ago

    Yeah...I agree....Somebody in management has there head up there A**!!

    ..but I understand your feelings...I used to drive an 18 wheeler and got screwed all the time......

    ...Maybe you should play that Johnny Paycheck song to your boss......"Take this job and Shove it!!"

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    That sucks. I'll bet the "powers that be" have been enjoying New Years Parties since 4PM.

    F uckin' Greasy P ricks.

  • 1 decade ago

    yes it has last year work is a drag sometimes

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