Can my mother’s hours be cut due to something that is not affecting her work?

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Can my mother’s hours be cut due to something that is not affecting her work?

I am pregnant and my mother’s company decided that she needs more time off for the baby. She hasn’t missed any work or requested time off because of my pregnancy. They didn’t discuss it with her or ask her before they cut her hours. Is it legal for them to cut her hours because of something that is not affecting her work? She isn’t pregnant, I am.

Asked on April 24, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Colorado

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I'm afraid they probably can.  While odd, it is legal.  The fact is that in most states employment relationships are what is known as "at will", and CO is no exception.  What this means is that basically an employer can hire or fire someone for any reason or no reason whatsoever, as well has increase/decrease salary/hours, promote/demote, and generally impose requirements as they see fit.  In turn, a person can choose to can work for an employer or not. 

The exceptions the foregoing would be if there is a stated company policy contrary to this, or there is a union/employment agreement that does not allow for such action, or this situation has arisen due to some type of discrimination (i.e., for reasons due to your race, religion, age, disability, sex, national origin).  Otherwise, your mother's employer is within its legal rights.


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