I need to write a letter to inform an hourly employee that there hours will be cut based on poor attendance
We would not advise that you do this, because the employee may be eligible for unemployment benefits if you do.
This is called punative scheduling, and it is generally not a good HR practice. While it is tempting to tell an employee *if you cannot show up 5 days every week, I will only put you on the schedule for 3 days per week,* this tactic seldom solves the problem. In fact, the employee is even less motivated to perform well.
A better tactic would be suspending the employee for 3 to 7 days without pay. The days need not be consecutive, if that does not serve the employers needs. Alternatively, issue a written reprimand to the employee or terminate him. In general, the philosophy is that an employee who is not performing up to snuff as a full time employee is not going to perform up to snuff as a part time employee.
If you issue a written reprimand or suspension, document this on your usual form. You really do not need to give an employee notice in writing that he or she will be scheduled fewer hours in the future — you can simply change the employees schedule.
Another option would be to terminate the employee due to poor attendance, and then offer him or her a part-time job. You will want to document this, so that the employee can be denied unemployment benefits if he files for them.
If you must have such a memo, it should simply read *Effective 3/1/10, your schedule will be reduced to part-time due to your attendance problems.* But again, this may not protect you from an unemployment claim.
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