Q. Can we legally reduce the hours of full-time employees in one of our divisions because this division needs to cut overhead? —J.B., Massachusetts
A. Assuming that those employees are hourly, at-will employees and that your organization isn’t covered by a collective-bargaining agreement, you can generally change their wages, hours and other terms of employment at any time for any reason.
Just make sure your actions don’t harm a protected class of employees disproportionally. (Example: You could face legal challenges if you cut the hours of employees in a department that’s composed primarily of older workers.) In such cases, make extra sure to document that the decisions are based on sound business reasons.