Can an employer legally cut back your hours if you go back to school?

I’m going to go back to college but I have a full-time job. What is required by me and my employer so that I can attend school? I mean if he cuts me down on hours can he get into any type of trouble? Are there any laws stating that he has to give hours out by senority instead of how hard you work?

Asked on March 20, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Missouri


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Yes, your employer can do this unless you have an employment contract or union agreement to the contrary, or company policy does not allow for this.  Additionally, it would also be illegal if some type of workplace discrimination were involved.  The fact is that most employment relationships are "at will".  Consequently, an employer can hire or fire an employee for any reason or no reason whatsoever, as well has increase/decrease salary/hours, promote/demote, and generally impose requirements as it sees fit.  An employee in turn can choose to continue to work for their employer or not. 

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