Is it legal to hire a full-time employee while cutting the hours of an existing full-time employee that can do the same job?

I have worked for my company for 1 1/2 years, never late or called out sick. I was notified my hours would go from full-time to part-time effective immediatly. Yet, on the same day a new full-time employee was hired to do the same job I’m qualified to do.

Asked on June 5, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Arizona


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, this is normally perfectly legal: employers have complete discretion as to employee hours and staffing levels, and may hire new staff while firing or cutting hours of existing staff. It would only be illegal if:

1) You have an employment contract, which is violated by these actions.

2) You can show that the reason for the negative treatment of you is illegal discrimination (e.g. discrimination against you on the basis of your race, religion, age over 40, or disability).

3) You are being retaliated against for using a specifically protected benefit, like FMLA leave, or for filing a protected claim, such as that you were discriminated against or for overtime.

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