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Karen, Business Owner
Category: Job
Satisfied Customers: 29
Experience:  Owner of a small business and a former Human Resource Professional
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How can I reduce an employees work hours

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How can I reduce an employee's work hours?
Thank you for allowing me to assist you. I will do what I can to give you a direct, honest answer.
I do need more information. What state do you live in, what is the reason for reducing the employee's hours, do you have the authority to reduce the employee's hours.
Please get back with me as soon as possible and I will be happy to assist you.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Hi Karen,


My husband has a small business, with 2 employees, 3 counting himself in Connecticut. He is subcontracted with one big client (doing maintenance). Unfortunately, this client is moving a big part of their business to Ohio, therefore we might need to let go of one employee, or if we can reduce the hours (parttime) until more work comes in.


I work for my husband as the office manager, doing all the paper work (account recevables, payable, and payroll, etc). As a legal entity, I am a member of the company also..




As an employer, you have the right to reduce any employee's hours at will.. It is always a very hard decision to make but in order for the company to survive, it is something that has to be done.
You can reduce hours for both employees or you can keep the one that has more seniority as full time and reduce the hours for the last one hired.
If you lay one employee off, then that employee can claim unemployment insurance which you will be charged for.
If you choose to reduce the hours for just one employee, then take that employee aside and explain the situation and that his/her hours will be reduced until things pick up. If you choose to reduce the hours for both employees, then meet with both at the same time and let them know that their hours will be reduced until further notice.
Which ever works best for the company and keeps your current customers satisfied will dictate your decision. For the most part employees will understand why their hours are reduced, they obviously will not like it any more than you do but business is business.
I hope this has helped answer your question. If not please feel free to contact t me and we can brainstorm this together.
If this has answered your question, please hit the accept button.
Good luck!

Customer: replied 7 years ago.



Your response was very helpful. Just need to know if it would be a good idea to have a lawyer write up a letter indicating the reasons for the reduced hours or with a letter from the employer be sufficient.




The formality of a letter or written notice from the employer is sufficient although not actually needed. Unless the employees have a contract with the company stating that they are guaranteed so many hours, the employer has the right to reduce an employees hours at will. But it is not a bad idea to give out a written statement if for no other reason than to keep the record straight with your employees.

So no, you do not need to go to the expense of having an attorney do it.

Best of luck to you and your company. I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX turn around soon for you and you are able to secure more business!
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