can a company cut your hours to zero in an effort to get you to quit, while refusin to fire you?

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can a company cut your hours to zero in an effort to get you to quit, while refusin to fire you?

We live in oregon. The company my daughter works for knowingly hired her with 4 piercings in her ear despite their own rules knowing she was unable to remove them. Now a year later they are telling her to remove them or quit. She refuses to quit so they have threatened to cut her hours to zero, then being that she isnt showing up for work because shes not scheduled, they treat it as if she has put in her ‘two week notice’ or as a refusal to show up. Is this a legal tactic to rid themselves of an employee? Thanks

Asked on June 28, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Oregon

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Yes,  a company may make a job untenable or undesirable, including by cutting hours (even all the way to zero) in hopes that an employee will quit. Remember: all employment is "employment at will" in this country--there is no right to a job, no guaranty of work or hours, and also no guaranty of fair or reasonable treatment. Your job is whatever your employer makes it, and if you don't want to work under those conditions, your recourse is to quit and seek other employment.
That said, if they do cut her hours to zero, they will have effectively fired her, even if they don't want to call it a termination, and she should be eligible for unmployment benefits.


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