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Can Manager Cut Employee Hours as Punishment (undocumented)? North Carolina

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  • Can Manager Cut Employee Hours as Punishment (undocumented)? North Carolina

    Before I begin I also want to state that I have insurance benefits that rely on working a certain amount of hours.

    I usually average about 30-35 hours per week at my job. When I received the upcoming 2-week schedule I noticed that my hours have been cut back to 18 hours for each week. I immediately called my manager in concern and he said that there was something wrong and that we can't talk on the phone about it. So I rush to work on my day off racking my brain the whole ride there on what it could be that would cause him to do this.

    So when I arrive at work, we begin talking and he tells me that I seem to have an attitude with him all the time and that if we can't work together than maybe this is it. I have had troubles in the past with this manager, so has many other employees, and I like this job so I have always tried to get along with him. Also what might be the case is: It's a long story, but I went over his head (to next manager in charge, on his day off) to ask for help for something that help was very necessary for and that effected the operation of the restaurant. THAT is why he cut my hours, as well as the "attitude" thing.

    I have had no documented disciplines such as write ups or verbal warnings with signed letter.
    Is this illegal? If not what options do I have? I have already spoken to the GM but to no avail.

    Thank you for reading.

  • #2
    No, it is not illegal. Unless you have a legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA that guarantees you a certain number of hours per week, you are due exactly as many hours as the manager chooses to schedule you for; no more and no less. If he only wants you working there 18 hours, then you only work 18 hours. There is no requirement that there be any previous documentation or warnings or signatures before your hours are cut; there is nothing illegal about a reduction of hours as discipline; there is nothing illegal about cutting your hours because you went over his head.

    There are a few situation-specific exceptions to the above, but from what you've said it does not appear that any of them apply. Your options are to work the hours that he schedules you for. You MAY be eligible for partial unemployment if he keeps it up; you are also perfectly free to find another job with more hours. But there is no law you can invoke that will force him to begin scheduling you for 30-35 hours again.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.


    • #3
      Agree, not illegal unless you have a binding employment contract to the contrary of what your employer is doing.

      You can look for other employment with more hours & you "might" be eligible for partial UI benefits if your hours continue to be reduced & depending on how much they are reduced.
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