Can an employer reduce hours?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can an employer reduce hours?

I work in a daycare. Before the start of the summer session I was working about 40 hours a week. There was a memo sent out to all employees that full time, year round, employees will have first pick at the schedule. This ended up being true for all full-time year round employees except for me. My position was given to a seasonal employee who works very part-time during the school year 8 hours a week. This person now works the shifts I used to work. My schedule was reduced to 22 hours a week. I have tried to have reasonable discussions with my supervisor about the schedule change and she has not given me a very specific answer as to why my schedule was changed and no other full-time employee’s has. I have already been stuck in classrooms where I have had no training and have not received adequate training either. What can I do?

Asked on June 8, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, North Dakota


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Unless this schedule change is due to some form of actionable discrimination such as your race, religion, gender, nationality, disability, age (over 40), etc., then you have no claim here. That is unless this action violates the terms of an employment contract or union agreement. The fact is that most employment is "at will" which means that an employer can set the conditions of work much as they see fit.

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.

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