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reduction of staff hours

I have a full time employee that I need to cut back hours. Do I need to give notice or can I have payroll make the change immediately?

Thank you

In all but one or two states, you can make changes to a non-exempt (hourly)  employees schedule immediately. Many employers write a weekly schedule, and the number of hours that any employee works may vary from week to week. You can simply schedule the employee for fewer hours, beginning tomorrow if you like. (In most states, you could even begin reducing hours today by sending the employee home early without notice and without penalty.)

Since your employees are accustomed to working a certain number of hours, the best practice would be for a supervisor to have a conversation with each affected employee, explaining the reasons behind the reduction in hours. However, there is no legal requirement (in most states) that you do so. 

Your mention of the payroll department makes us a little nervous, though. Under both federal and state law, you must pay employees for every hour that they have worked. So obviously, if the employees have already worked the hours, they must be paid for them.

The situation is entirely different with exempt employees. Search our archives for information about reducing an exempt employees salary or hours. In most cases, an exempt employee must be paid the same salary, regardless of the number of hours worked. When an exempt employees salary is changed, advance notice is required.

You would also be required to give advance notice if you were reducing the non-exempt employees hourly rate, rather than the number of hours worked.

Employment law differs in every state, and you have not mentioned which state you are in. So this answer might be different in some states.  

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