Is it legal for my employer to drop wages and hours due to having to have multiple surgeries?

I was at work today and was
informed that my pay has been
dropped to minimum wage and my
hours dropped to 20part time.
The reason i was given was that i
am unreliable because i have too
many surgeries, had one a few
months ago and having my
gallbladder removed soon.

Asked on March 20, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If you were eligible for, your company covered by (i.e. large enough to be covered by), and you used FMLA leave for all your absences, then the company cannot reduce your wages and/or hours for using FMLA leave--doing so would be illegal retaliaton for using a protected benefit, and you could sue for compenation. 
If you did not use, were not eligible for, or your company not covered by FMLA leave, then if you missed more work than you had earned PTO to cover (i.e. missed more hours or days than you had and used sick leave), then yes, your hours or pay could be cut--or you could even be terminated entirely--due to unexcused absences. The law does not make employers retain employees who miss work without using FMLA leave or earned PTO to cover the absences, even if the absences were due to medical reasons.


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