Can my hours be cut as punishment for being out on FMLA?

I have celiac disease and filed for FMLA 3 months ago. My employer cut my hours because of my FMLA and said I can get them back if I start coming in. Is this legal?

Asked on October 13, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The key question is *why* are your hours being cut? If it is punishment or retaliation for you using Family and Medical Leave Act leave, that is illegal--the law specifically bars such retailation. On the other hand, if due to your absences from work, the company needs to reduce your hours and assign more hours to some other person or  persons, in order to be able to manage their workflow, predictably plan coverage, or otherwise deal with actual business necessities, that may be allowable--while companies can't retailiate for Family and Medical Leave Act use, they are allowed to run and mange their businesses, and don't have to put themselves in place where the work can't get done. So the exact reason why your hours are being cut, and whether there is some legitimate business need to do so, is critical.


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