Can my employer reduce my working hours without my consent?

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Can my employer reduce my working hours without my consent?

I was hired to work 2-3x a week and as
needed but they reduced to 2 work
schedule only for the whole month of
October and they gave some hours to
others. Is it something to do when I
complained to them about my co-worker
who harassed me and also just last
week,I availed worker’s comp for work
incident? Pls. help me to address this
issue. Thank you.

Asked on October 1, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

As a general matter, your employer, not you, controls your hours and shifts and can change or reduce them at will, without your consent. This is a function of "employment at will"--just as they don't need your consent to terminate you, they don't need it to reduce your hours.
As for your complaint: was the harassment aimed at you due to your race, color, sex, national origin, disability status, religon, or sexual orientation? If so, then it would be illegal to punish you for reporting this prohibited harassment and you should contact the state's equal/civil right agency about filing a complaint.
But if this other employee simply doesn't like you personally for some reason, then he or she is allowed to harass you--the law does not require employees to get along or treat each other respectfully. Since the employee could harass you, it would be legal if the employer chose to take away hours from you for reporting it: an employer may favor one employee over another, as long as it is not for one of the discriminatory reasons mentioned above.


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