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Need advice on employment matter

I am currently a 40 hour full-time employee working in physical therapy for the same company for 2.5 years. Our practice has slowed down and I was informed that my position is now going to be taken to what they are calling a Regular Part Time non-exempt status. Verbally I was told it would be 30 hours with continued healthcare and benefits. My company wants me to sign a letter agreeing to this new contact but have not specified the amount of hours in writing or continued healthcare. I have not signed anything and will not unless my hours are specified in writing with continued benefits. Also, my company hired a new grad 6 months ago but he is salary and they have not changed his hours, just mine. My concern is that if I agree to this change that I may be forfeiting my right to collect a partial unemployment for the 10 hour difference in pay each week.

Asked on April 17, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

1) If you have a written contract that is for a defined or set period of time (e.g. a one-year, two-year, five-year, etc. contract) that is still in effect, they cannot change the terms of your employment while that contract is still in effect. 
2) If you don't have a contract, they can make this change at will ("employment at will") whether or not you agree or sign.
3) Losing roughly 1/4 of your hours or pay is generally not enough to qualify for unemployment; losing 1/2 generally is; in between, it could go either way.


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