is it okay for my employer to take away my full-time status and benefits?

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is it okay for my employer to take away my full-time status and benefits?

I have been a full-time service provider for a spa for about 2 years. Full-time

service providers are required to work an average of 25 hours a week for the

year. They tried to have me sign a change of work status form losing full-time

to part time service provider due to insufficient hours. Our spa is busier in the warm seasons and drastically slows down in the cooler seasons. When business slows down service providers get involuntarily pulled off the schedule based on ranking. During the months of November through the first week of January, I was involuntarily pulled off the schedule a total of 130 hours. That doesn’t count any other hours for the rest of January and February that I have yet to calculate. I feel like should not be accoutable for those hours that I was

originally scheduled for but pulled off by management to save on labor costs.

Asked on September 5, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Was there a union or collective bagaining agreement that prohibited this change? Did your employer's action violate the terms of any employment contract? Did it constitute some form of legally actionable discrimination? If not, then your treatment was perfectly ermissable under the law. In such an "at will" work setting, a company can set the conditions of employment much as it sees fit. This, unfortunately, includes taking away an employee's full-time status and benefits. The fact is that a business can fire or demote an employee for any reason or no reason at all, with or without notice. Accordingly, your recourse here is to either accept the reduction, complain and risk termination, or quit.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Do you have a written employment contract which guaranteed you full-time status and/or prevented it from being taken away in this way? If so, you can enforce that contract and your rights, by a "breach of contract" lawsuit if necessary. But if you did not have a written contract, you were an employee at will and your employer has free discretion to change your status (or reduce hours, reduce pay, or even terminate you entirely) at any time, for any reason whatsoever. Without a contract, your employer could do this.


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