Does a reduction in hours constitute constructive layoff?

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Does a reduction in hours constitute constructive layoff?

My employer hired me 15 months ago with a verbal guarantee that I would receive a minimum of 32 hours a week. Since then I have averaged approximately 33 hours weekly. My employer has just cut my hours by approximately 6 1/2 hours a week. This is right around a 20% deduction in hours. Someone told me this qualifies as a constructive layoff and I may qualify for some unemployment benefits. My employer knows I am a single mother of 2 and require the 32 promised hours to support my family. I never had anything in writing. The doctor employs 5 people if that matters.

Asked on June 26, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Missouri

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

To qualify for unemployment benefits in MO, an applicant must be must be completely unemployed for reasons other than misconduct or voluntary termination without justified cause or partially employed under a modified schedule with reduced hours. You should contact your state's Department of Labor for more information. In the meantime you should know that in order to determine your eligibility for partial benefits there is a formula to file. Here is a link to a site that you may find to be of help:

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