Need advice on employment matter

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 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.

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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