Is it right for an employer to not provide enough hours if someone was hired as full time?

By | 2022-02-15T17:45:04-05:00 December 16th, 2011|0 Comments

Question:

Dear Nancy,

I was hired as a full-time employee, but the facility cannot provide the total number of hours. Is that right?

Sue

Nancy Brent replies:

Dear Sue,

The recent economy has taken its toll on nursing as it has on other professions and businesses. Cutbacks in staff hours is one way a healthcare facility can keep staff on the payroll, hopefully continue to provide good nursing care and not close its doors.

Although being hired full time but not getting the hours needed may not be “right” and probably is not because of anything the facility has done in an attempt to stay afloat, there may be no legal recourse unless the full-time status was put into an employment contract or was a guarantee with a written letter of employment. These are examples of contracts of employment.

Because most employees are hired as at-will employees and not contractual employees, there are no guarantees of lifelong employment, employment on a particular unit or shift or a specific number of hours of work. Although the financial difficulties of going from full time to less certainly affect you adversely, it probably is worth thinking about the fact that it may be better to have this job than no job, especially in this economy.

You should feel free to look for work elsewhere, but be clear that unless you are a contractual employee or a union employee (the bargaining agreement may include a provision that there can be no reduced hours of work for union members), the same problem may arise again.

Sincerely,
Nancy

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