When am employee comes back from disability leave, can their hours be cut?

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When am employee comes back from disability leave, can their hours be cut?

I was recently out of work because of a fall and back injury;11 weeks on disability. When IO told them that I would be back they cut my hours in half. I feel that I’m being punished for being out. I can’t survive on 2 days a week. Last year someone was out for 12 weeks for hip replacement and they never hired someone else or cut her hours.

Asked on September 3, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, New Jersey

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You can't have your hours cut as part of being discriminated against because you are disabled. However:

1) Reasonable accomodations are allowed. If you can't work the same job, for example, and a replacement or alternate job or position has fewer  hours available, that would be reasonable and legitimate.

2) If the hour cut back is unrelated to your disability (e.g. business is slow and hours are  being cut), then the fact that you are disabled does not protect you from having your hours reduced.

However, if you don't believe (1) or (2) are the case, you may have an employment discrimination claim and should consult with an attorney to evaluate your case and what it might be worth. Good luck.


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