Is it legal for my employer to drop wages and hours due to having to have multiple surgeries?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Is it legal for my employer to drop wages and hours due to having to have multiple surgeries?

I was at work today and was
informed that my pay has been
dropped to minimum wage and my
hours dropped to 20part time.
The reason i was given was that i
am unreliable because i have too
many surgeries, had one a few
months ago and having my
gallbladder removed soon.

Asked on March 20, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If you were eligible for, your company covered by (i.e. large enough to be covered by), and you used FMLA leave for all your absences, then the company cannot reduce your wages and/or hours for using FMLA leave--doing so would be illegal retaliaton for using a protected benefit, and you could sue for compenation. 
If you did not use, were not eligible for, or your company not covered by FMLA leave, then if you missed more work than you had earned PTO to cover (i.e. missed more hours or days than you had and used sick leave), then yes, your hours or pay could be cut--or you could even be terminated entirely--due to unexcused absences. The law does not make employers retain employees who miss work without using FMLA leave or earned PTO to cover the absences, even if the absences were due to medical reasons.

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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