Can an employer cut a salary employee’s hours?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption