If the company I work for is not supplying me with the hours agreed upon in my contract, do I have to comply with their 4 weeks notice if resigning?

About 3 months ago I started a full-time, minimum wage, job. The job was advertised as ‘Full-time’ and i signed the contract being told directly that i would receive at least 30 hours a week, but most likely 35/40 hours a week. Turns out now Im not getting more than 20 hours a week. Now 4 weeks notice is required if resigning (which I am), since the company is not supplying me with the hours agreed upon, do i have to comply with the 4 weeks notice?

Asked on June 24, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Alabama

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Does the contract itself specify that you would receive at least 30 hours per week? If the contract does not do so, then it's not as clear cut as you believe that they are breaching the contract, or if they are breaching it, how materially (significantly). For example, for many purposes (e.g. health insurance) 25 hours is considered "full time" employment. Therefore, if the number of hours is not specified in the contract, but the contract only says "full time," they may or not be breaching it, depending on exactly how many hours you are receiving. And if the contract does not even say "full time" in it, then they are likely not breaching the contract at all. (Once you sign a contract, you are governed by the terms of the agreement in almost all cases--not any prior discussions or understandings.)  If the company is not breaching the contract in a material, or significant, way, you would not be justified in not honoring your own obligations, such as providing notice. From what you write, it may be best to provide 4 weeks notice.


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