I live in California and in I was hired at a restaurant in August 2023. During the interview, I submitted availability for Thursday- Saturday. I was hired. 2 months in, my availability changed to Thursday and Friday only. I submitted my request (and explanation) to close my Saturday availability due to
- school (weekends needed to be left completely open for potential make-ups for cancelled clinicals during the week;
- unpredictable if/when this will apply (COVID-19 outbreaks= students sometimes turned away from hospital rotations to limit unnecessary personnel/decrease spread);
- decided to block my Saturday availability to avoid having to be in the predicament of being double booked at school and work).
The woman (who acts as the HR person for the restaurant) accepted my request and stated that coverage for my former Saturday shift will be covered moving forward. A few weeks later, the owner expresses frustration regarding people "not wanting" to work weekends. I know I'm one of the targeted individuals by statement. I feel that a scenario is coming where they will plan to let me go due to my limited availability. Also, in the last month, I have released a couple of shifts to some coworkers who were interested in an extra shift, while I was simultaneously interested in the relief of a shift. I mention this to paint the picture of possibly being perceived as someone who doesn't want/need to work, when that isn't the reality. The reality is I live the life of an extremely busy college student enrolled in a rigorous and depleting school program, so as you can imagine, I have to work the minimum in order to provide maximum investment that is required for a college education. In addition, I have not been late nor called out since starting.
My question here is can they legally fire me or give me an ultimatum of needing me to be available outside of what I am actually available, as well as after having already and approved my updated availability? If they are allowed to, would I be eligible for unemployment under these circumstances?