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You Can Change Workers’ Hours on Short Notice

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in Employment Law,FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources

Q. Can we change employees' work hours on short notice by altering their schedules? Also, we have a part-time employee who's been employed for a few months working 32 hours a week. She's preparing to return to work after recovering from a car accident. Can we reduce her work hours? —J.L., Maryland

A. Unless there's an employment contract or collective bargaining agreement that says otherwise, an employer can change employees' work schedules without prior notice. You may also reduce the part-time employee's hours of work as long as there's no employment contract or union contract to the contrary.

However, if a worker is eligible for the Family and Medical Leave Act, you could be required to reinstate her with the same hours of work. Also, be cautious about appearing to cut hours because you consider her to be disabled.

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