Can an employer cut a salary employee’s hours?

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Can an employer cut a salary employee’s hours?

Can a healthcare employer cut a salary employee’s hours which cuts salary pay due to census for example if the number of patients decreases from 110 to 96 can the employer tell the employee they will be decreased to 34 hours per week decreasing the person’s salary until census is back up. An additional question is if they do that is it legal for pay purposes for the employer to leave the employees reported hours at 40 and decrease the rate of pay to make the pay equal to 34 hours per week.

Asked on June 27, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

An employer can reduce any employee's hours, since employer's, not employees, determine the hours of employment. Reducing a salaried employee's hours will not directly reduce his or her pay pay, since a salaried employee gets the same weekly salary regardless of hours worked. But the employer can get the same effect by reducing the employee's salary, which an employer may do at will so long as there is no written employment contract preventing a reduction in salary. Example: say an employee was earning $800 per week ($41,600 per year annual) salary while working "full" time (40 hours per week). The employer wants them to now work only 34 hours and get pay equivalent to working 6 hours, or 15%, less time. If the employer reduces the employee's weekly salary to $680 (or $35,360/year), that will pay them an amount commensurate with the reduction in hours.


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