Ask HR: Can We Reduce an Employee’s Hours as a Disciplinary Measure?
Ask HR: Can We Reduce an Employee’s Hours as a Disciplinary Measure?

Ask HR: Can We Reduce an Employee’s Hours as a Disciplinary Measure?

Discipline policies and enforcement continue to be hot-button topics for many HR departments. The professionals at HR Support Center often encounter questions from employers about disciplinary techniques and best practices and are skilled at handling all types of situations, including this topic.

Question:

Can we reduce an employee’s hours as a disciplinary measure?

Answer:

We do not recommend reducing hours as a disciplinary measure, as it does not directly address the performance or behavioral issue that the employee is having. Unless reducing hours is already a common practice in your workplace, it could be challenged on the basis of fairness, consistency with your policy, or discrimination. For example, if no other employees have had a reduction in hours for disciplinary reasons, this employee could claim they’re being unfairly targeted and that the discipline was actually a result of their inclusion in a protected class (e.g., if the employee is over 40 years old or practices a particular religion).

Instead, we advise that you follow a progressive disciplinary process and put the employee on a performance improvement plan (PIP), addressing poor performance and behavioral issues as soon as they arise. In this case, we recommend that you meet with the employee to discuss the performance and behavioral problems, and document your expectations going forward. Treating the employee consistently with your policy and documenting the steps of the disciplinary/PIP process will be useful if any of your decisions are later challenged by an employee claim.

This content came from a team of HR professionals at HR Support Center. Organizations like yours can pay a yearly fee for HR Support Center and receive awesome subscription perks like these:
• Legal advice
• Employee handbook help (creating a new one or updating an existing one)
• Custom HR forms, letters, tools, and other documents
• Tons of Q&A
• News on government activity that could affect you
• Training on common HR activities like hiring
• Thought leadership articles

The list goes on. HR Support Center is not only feature rich, it’s inexpensive: one entire year of HR Support Center is cheaper than one hour of a typical attorney’s time.

Don't ignore the HR side of your organization. Contact us today to see how we can help.


Subscribe to Our Resource Center Digest

Enter your email below to receive a weekly recap of the latest articles from Paycor's Resource Center.

Check your inbox for an email confirming your subscription. Enjoy!

More to Discover

Webinar: National Payroll Week Webinar Series: Payroll Compliance Updates & What's Ahead in 2021

Webinar: National Payroll Week Webinar Series: Payroll Compliance Updates & What's Ahead in 2021

From new salary thresholds and social security wage increases to COVID tax relief, businesses leaders have faced quite a few payroll and tax changes in 2020. As we prepare to turn the page to a new year, what new updates are on the horizon? Join Paycor’s resident payroll expert, Arlene Baker to learn about the latest updates and what you should watch out for in 2021.Speaker: Arlene Baker Arlene Baker is a Sr Compliance Analyst with over 40 years of payroll and tax experience. Arlene is a member of the National Payroll Reporting Consortium focusing on IRS compliance. Arlene has been a member of the national and local APA for 25 years and is an active member of the American Payroll Association Hotline and SPLTF Hospitality Industry...

Terminating Employee Checklist

Terminating Employee Checklist

Letting an employee go is never easy—but when it happens, no matter the root cause, companies have to act with professionalism and follow correct procedure. It’s the right thing to do, but it’s also essential for compliance. To help you make sure everything is done by the book, Paycor is providing a checklist of the right actions to take. Download Termination Checklist How to Conduct an Involuntary Termination An involuntary termination can never be taken lightly, and before making the decision official you’ll want to confirm with your legal team or advisors that you’re following the right process. If the termination is the result of poor performance or disciplinary issues, the employee may well have been issued warnings of increasing...

How to Hire Employees in California

How to Hire Employees in California

Wherever you operate, hiring new employees means not only searching for the best talent but also staying compliant. Nowhere is this more true than in California, with businesses needing to be aware of notoriously complex labor laws, relating to all stages of the employment process.For a small business, this can seem overwhelming. How can you recruit and hire great new employees while staying compliant with numerous regulations? The good news is, Paycor can help. Recruitment Best Practice Finding star talent is the same everywhere—you need to make sure that the right people know about the open position, you need to be able to filter applications to select for the skills and attributes you need, and you want a streamlined and optimized...

Types of Wages That Small Businesses Need to Know

Types of Wages That Small Businesses Need to Know

If you’re running a small business, you’ve got a lot on your plate. Right at the top of your list of priorities will be paying employees, and you don’t have time to be confused by all the different terms for kinds of wages and salaries. If you’re just starting out in business, we’ve got you covered. Here’s a breakdown of the types of employee payments that small businesses need to know. Regular Wages Most employees receive wages as part of a regular salary or based on hourly work. Businesses will have to choose the frequency of pay periods to find what works for them while abiding by any state regulations. Salary Wages Employees who receive a salary are guaranteed a fixed sum every pay period. The pay per hour worked must meet the...