Is is legal to cut hours and then hire someone else to work the hours that were cut?

My employer cut my hours from 40 to 15 per week. She said it was for budgetary reasons. However, she is now advertising for someone to work the 25 hours that she took from me.

Asked on July 21, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Unless you had an employment contract specifying or guarantying your hours, this is legal. When there is no contract, an employer may terminate an employee at will, or do anything short of termination, such as reducing hours. The employer does not need to share with employee the reason for doing so; and if the employer does indicate some reason, it is free to change its mind, go back on what it said, be inconsitent, etc. Employers are always free, in the absence of a contract, to cut one person's job or hours while hiring another or extending someone else's hours.

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