Can my employer cut only my hours and no other employee’s hours?

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Can my employer cut only my hours and no other employee’s hours?

My boss has cut my hours more and more over the last few weeks. When I asked him about it he said that it was slow season but he just hired a new girl going into his so-called slow season. He told me to just find another job, howerver, I am the only one that has lost hours. He has even given people additional days when they request time off so they can keep their hours. I went from 36 hours a week a few weeks ago to 22 hours this week.

Asked on May 8, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Colorado

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The law does not require employers to treat employees fairly, so your employer could reduce your hours while not cutting others' hours (or even while hiring new staff). Your employer does not need any reason for this if you are an employee at will; and you are an employee at will unless you have an employment contract. Therefore, in the absence of an employment contract, your employer is free to decide to cut your hours but no one else's.

That said, it is illegal to discriminate in employment due to certain protected characteristics or categories, the most important of which are generally race, religion, sex, age over 40, or disability. No discrimination includes not favoring one employee on these basis as well as taking negative action against an employee. If you are over 40 and feel you are being cut to make room for a younger employee, or a male and your hours are being cut to make room for a female employee, you *may* have a claim for employment discrimination. It would be worthwhile to meet with an employment law attorney to discuss the situation in detail if you believe this may be the case.


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 AttorneyPages.com 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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