How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Marsha411JD Your Own Question

Marsha411JD
Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 17390
Experience:  Licensed Attorney with 28 yrs. exp in Employment Law
19127644
Type Your Employment Law Question Here...
Marsha411JD is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

If someone is hired full time; is it legal to cut their ho

Resolved Question:

If someone is hired full time; is it legal to cut their hours?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 4 years ago.
HelloCustomer

In order to answer your question, I need a few more facts. What state do you live in? Do you have a contract? Are you paid hourly or salary?

Thank you.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
My husband recently transferred to NH from MD; he left Giant Food, Inc. after 20+ years, BUT is working for Stop n Shop the umbrella company.
He applied at the store kiosk for full-time employment; he was hired and has been working at the SAME store and for the company since July 28th (ish) full-time. The letter we mailed to the store manager thanking him for the interview and the time he took in assisting him in filling out "the forms" included the phrase "full-time position". The reason for the recent cut in his hours is ostensibly because a store in Maine closed and they are "giving" those employees how have lost their jobs access to hours throught out other Stop n Shop stores.
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 4 years ago.
Hello again,

Although you still didn't state how your husband is paid, I will attempt to answer your question as best I can. In general an employer may cut an employee's hours as long as they are not doing it for discriminatory or retaliatory reasons, or in violation of an employment contract. In addition, employees who are considered full-time can have less than 40 hours a week and still be considered full-time. The definition of full-time is based on what the company says it is. So, for example a company may define full-time as 32-40 hours a week. the sorts of cuts you are talking about are unfortunately, because of the current economic conditions, quite common and legal under the circumstances I laid out above.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I'm sorry, he is paid biweekly, he has been "guaranteed" through a verbal statement by his store manager 29 hours per week. This also means his health benefits have been terminated. So what you are saying is that as long as someone has been acknowledged as full-time; whatever definition that may be; hours can be cut to again; whatever a company deems?
And exactly where and to whom should he speak to find these definitions? I once worked "full-time" which equated to 37.5 hours per week; but it was fixed at that. He is paying union dues but they say they can't help him. So where does he go for these answers?
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 4 years ago.
Hello again,

There is a very slight chance that your husband may have a breach of contract case for lowering his hours below full-time and taking away his benefits. The reason I say this, is if the company is both lowering his hours to 29 and terminating his benefits, it is pretty apparent that he is no longer a full-time employee. Also, the reason I say slight is that my guess is that chances are that the collective bargaining agreement with the union left a loophole for this option to the employer. If it didn't then his chances are better to raise the issue of the fact that the letter said "full-time." To find out how the company categorizes employees sd full-time or part-time and who gets benefits, all you husband needs to do is look at the employee handbook or policy manual available through the HR department, or call them for clarification. If after considering all the information, your husband still feels that his hours have wrongly been cut, then he needs to try to resolve the issue internally by filing the appropriate grievances with the union and the HR department. Once he has done that, he can consult with an attorney about representation in a breach of contract action.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
He naturally feels taken for granted and used. His self-esteem is very low, as is his energy level right now. I appreciate your advice. Have you seen success with this type of thing internally; or if that isn't something you would have had access to; success in litigation. For me, it's a point of principle and I am not adverse to LOTS of word of mouth bad pr toward them. Even contacting a radio/newspaper, etc., and citing companies such as this as villians as we are seeing the CEO's of health care industries being referred as. In your opinion, is this actionable with a chance of winning? IF he can verify that full-time is 40, he was hired as FT and his benefits have been eradicated, shall we say it; illegally?
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 4 years ago.
Hello again,

I can't say whether or not an internal grievance will be successful. A lot depends on who is involved in settling the grievance and how concerned they might be that their actions are not in compliance with the agreement he had. It is important though throughout the process for him to remain professional and not throw out threats. He doesn't want to give his employer any reason to terminate him for insubordination. The actions of the employer may not have been illegal, it really depends on all the agreements, practices and policies in place. Without any sort of contract, this action is entirely legal and, as I believe I said above, common in the current economy. The issue in your husband's case is very fact specific and will need to be evaluated by a local attorney who can gain access to all the facts. Whether or not your husband wants to resolve to getting the local media involved will be a decision that he will have to make considering the pros and cons.
Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 17390
Experience: Licensed Attorney with 28 yrs. exp in Employment Law
Marsha411JD and 3 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I am very down hearted to learn that an employer can arbitrarily cut someone's hours legally. I was under the impression that there were prohibited labor practices and you'd think this would fall under that! How is anyone's job secure if that is the case? And the fact that "the economy" is a mess is not a valid reason. This means that anyone can say at any time the economy is bad; it's as you indicated above "who is involved...how concerned, etc." This is a joke.
I appreciate your time and expertise.
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 4 years ago.
Hello again,

I didn't say that all employees could have their hours cut arbitrarily. If there is not a contract in place, whether implied or otherwise, then they can. In your husband's case, he may very well have a valid case. He will need to do some leg work and consulting with a local attorney about all the specifics in this case though to figure that out.

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I must thank you all for such a positive and knowledgeable Expert in your Employment Law category. She has provided much relief and answers for me in the midst of dealing with a case. I am totally pleased with her customer service and care. Mildred Washington, DC
< Last | Next >
  • I must thank you all for such a positive and knowledgeable Expert in your Employment Law category. She has provided much relief and answers for me in the midst of dealing with a case. I am totally pleased with her customer service and care. Mildred Washington, DC
  • Excellent direction from Socrateaser to help me preserve and pursue my rights as a proud American who has become unemployed in this messed-up economic downfall. Thank you Happy Customer Denver, CO
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    7759
    JD, BBA, recognized by ABA for excellence.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MU/multistatelaw/2011-11-27_173951_Tinaglamourshotworkglow102011.64x64.jpg Tina's Avatar

    Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    7759
    JD, BBA, recognized by ABA for excellence.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/marshadjd/2009-6-1_194320_marshajd.jpg Marsha411JD's Avatar

    Marsha411JD

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    10539
    Licensed Attorney with 27 yrs. exp in Employment Law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/NY/nyclawyer/2012-6-7_22011_photo66139201112041.64x64.jpg Infolawyer's Avatar

    Infolawyer

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    9785
    Licensed attorney helping employers and employees.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JA/jaccorpsesq/2011-11-13_21141_JAnewphoto.64x64.jpg Allen M., Esq.'s Avatar

    Allen M., Esq.

    Employment Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    9429
    Employment/Labor Law Litigation
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MI/MILawyer/2011-2-28_0311_JBUprofile.64x64.jpg JB Umphrey's Avatar

    JB Umphrey

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    6273
    Assisting employees and employers for over 14 years.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/TU/TUSA/2012-6-6_55219_test.64x64.png Thoreau (T-USA)'s Avatar

    Thoreau (T-USA)

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    2469
    Attorney
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/dkaplun/2009-05-17_173121_headshot_1_2.jpg Dimitry K., Esq.'s Avatar

    Dimitry K., Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    2214
    I provide employment and discrimination law advice in my own practice.