Can employees be scheduled less than full-time hours if they are considered to be full-time employees?

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Can employees be scheduled less than full-time hours if they are considered to be full-time employees?

We have worked for a large corporation for several years and have been full-time. We are now told that although a few years ago the corporation changed full-time from 28 to 34 hours a week, we do not qualify for the 34 hours due to our hire date. Yet we are still full-time. Can they do this and is it legal for them to schedule us for less than the 28 or 34 hours per week? There are several of us who are concerned about this.

Asked on January 8, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Oklahoma

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

This  is actually no legal definition of "full" vs. "part" time; no laws stating how many hours an employee must be put on for; and it's up to employers to determine the terms and conditions of work, including how many hours employees will work. The only limitations are:

1) No discrimination on the basis of a protected category, such as race, religion, sex, age over 40, or disability--i.e. the reason you get fewer hours can't be on that ground.

2) If you're hourly, you must be paid for all hours worked, whatever they are.

3) If there's an employment (including union) contract, its terms about hours and pay must be honored.

However, otherwise, it's up to the employer.


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