Hours cut after injury?

by Jeff

I was working lifting garage doors on top of trucks and injured my wrist. I'm still going to physical therapy (since mid january). My employer cut my hours from 30 to 25 a week - it might not sound like much but it is. They said since I'm part time I'm not promised hours, but when I was hired they said 30 plus hours a week, possibly even 40.

Can they cut my hours like this after I get hurt?

Visitor Question:
Disclaimer: Information provided in our response is NOT formal legal advice. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Under no circumstances should the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site be relied upon when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Our response does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. Always get a formal case review from a licensed attorney in your area.

ANSWER for "Hours cut after injury?":

Jeff (Arizona):

Unfortunately, absent a written employment contract you are considered an "at-will" employee. This means absent a written contract of employment your employment is at the will of your employer.

There is an exception which might apply to your circumstances. If you can prove by credible, tangible evidence your employer promised you 30, or 40 hours a week of employment you may have a case for "breach of contract" even though there isn't a written contract in existence.

If you can also prove you gave up another job opportunity or moved a great distance to accept the job, your case for breach of contract will be strengthened.

In the interim you must attempt to mitigate your damages. You must seek other employment. While doing so you can consider filing a breach of contract small claims court action. The maximum amount you can sue for in Arizona's small claims courts is $2500. That's not much, but it may help to get you by while finding other employment.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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