I have been working a full-time 40 hours a week but my boss is telling me that he sees it as a part-time position and the job was advertised as full-time, can he arbitrarily decide its not full-time?

I was switched to a new boss about a year into my job; I’ve now been for 2-1/2 years. He is a micro-manager and I feel bullied by him. I have tried to address his negative and hostile management style but to no avail. He picks apart everything I do to the minutiae. His latest thing is that all of sudden he thinks my job doesn’t constitute 40 hours a week. I applied for a full-time job and have been working full-time for 2-1/2 years. He has me going to all managers asking if I can support them, which I did. Most said they didn’t really need much support and now he wants me to ask them again. I’m not sure what to do.

Asked on May 11, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Colorado


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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If your employer wants to cut your hours to less than 40 per week, unless you have an employment contract or union agreement to the contrary, it is legal. Also, your treatment must not be due to some form of legally actionable disicrimnation. Otherwise, as an "at will" worker, your company can set the conditions of your employment much as it sees fit. That having been said, you have the right to quit, with or without notice. On the other hand, if your employer is not cutting your hours but labeling you as "part-time", you may have rights. As a general rule, most employers consider 40 hours or more to be full-time employment and anything less part-time. Federal law defines a part-time employee as someone who works less than 1,000 hours per year for the same company (17.5 hours per week). However, the laws about how many hours constitutes full/part-time employment can differ from federal law and can be determined state-by-state. You can check with your state department of labor to be certain of the law and/or consult directly with an employment law attorney.

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