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Thread: Hours reduced to 0. Need advice/info

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    Default Hours reduced to 0. Need advice/info

    Posting this for someone else, couldn't find pertinent info on the Alberta labour site.

    Hey guys, I was wondering if any of you would have some insight in a situation I'm going through at work.
    I'll try to make this very brief: in September I made the decision to go back to school. I told my managers that, and for the most part they scheduled me around my school hours. Everything seemed ok.
    When I went onto my practicum, they reduced my hours to part time. I said "oh well, I can handle that for a while". For the last 2 weeks of practicum, they gave me no hours at all, and said they just can't "work out the schedule", whatever that actually means. Even though I've since finished my practicum, which was their reason for reducing my hours, I still haven't been in the schedule at all for some 3 weeks now.
    They said clearly that I'm still with the company, however. They also say they have no idea when I'll get hours again, and if I'm reading the situation correctly, I'm essentially out of a job -- I just never was actually fired or laid off. Which doesn't seem legal.
    What are my options in this situation? I have/had been working for them full time for 3 years. At this point, I haven't had shifts in close to a month. What do I do...? I plan on calling the labor board/Employment Standards, but since it's the weekend and I can't do that right now, I was hoping to get some insight from you guys.

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    Exhaust your avenues before you file a complaint. No need to burn bridges if you don't have to.

    Go see your boss, have an honest and frank conversation about your situation and explain to them if they don't want to give you hours they need to lay you off (so you can be eligible for EI and severance pay if any).

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    Go and find another job? Seems too obvious I know...
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    Yeah, you've been pretty much dismissed. Start looking for a new job, ask for your severance and apply for EI in the interim. That's about all you can do right now. They don't really need a reason to let you go.
    Original Post NAZI Moderated


    Originally posted by r3cc0s
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    Back in high school I worked for RCSS and went thru the same situation you're in. They gave me zero hours it was a tactic to force you to quit since they were unionized. Better off finding a née job.

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    Better known as constructive dismissal and is against labor code.

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    Its pretty unreasonable of the employee to demand specific hours, then ask for more changes and then be shocked when the business fills the gaps created.

    Just go look for a new job, you don't want the labor board to fight and then get you back in.
    Last edited by FraserB; 02-02-2013 at 08:34 PM.
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    Originally posted by Numi
    Better known as constructive dismissal and is against labor code.
    Spend a bit of money on a short phone call with lawyer. At least that way you'll be sure you've made the best decision.

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    OP, what do you hope to accomplish? Obviously they don't want you around any more. Even if you get somewhere with the labour board or whatever government agency this falls under, do you really want to "force" these guys to give you a few hours a week? How pleasant do you think the work environment is going to be? Just find another job & move on.

    I'm assuming this job was not in your field of studies? Perhaps the employer knows that you're not sticking around for good so they have moved on with other staff.
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    I'd pull the chute on that company and find something else. See if you can have them let you go so at least youll get a severence?

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    Originally posted by Weapon_R
    Yeah, you've been pretty much dismissed. Start looking for a new job, ask for your severance and apply for EI in the interim. That's about all you can do right now. They don't really need a reason to let you go.
    Originally posted by Numi
    Better known as constructive dismissal and is against labor code.
    Look for work elsewhere, but don't quit because then you won't qualify for severance and EI. If the company refuses to "terminate without cause", take it up with Alberta Employment Standards.

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    Can you qualify for EI if you're only working a part-time job? Additionally, don't you have to provide proof that you're actively seeking other employment?
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    Alberta is rough, Quebec you'd have tons of recourse.
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    Best thing to start with is what someone else already mentioned - have a frank talk with your boss before you do anything.

    It's definitely difficult to schedule someone around other commitments, and it can tend to breed resentment among other employees who don't get the same treatment.

    Just let them know you appreciate what they've done, but you need to work. Ask them what they need from you in order to get back on the schedule - is more free time, covering the crappy shifts for awhile, or what.

    Then you know where you stand, and whether it's worth even trying to get back. As was also stated, the door might already be closed, but at least get the cards on the table first.

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    Originally posted by msommers
    Can you qualify for EI if you're only working a part-time job? Additionally, don't you have to provide proof that you're actively seeking other employment?
    Yes, as long as you meet the required amount of hours.

    Yes, you're supposed to show evidence of three job search efforts per day. It usually takes a few months to get your reporting summons though.

    Honestly you have nothing to lose by applying for EI. You've been paying into it your entire working life. I'm sure they can spare some of that $55 billion surplus.

    There may be some gotchas related to OP's student status.

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    Originally posted by Numi
    Better known as constructive dismissal and is against labor code.
    This is what I was thinking


    Originally posted by ZenOps
    Alberta is rough, Quebec you'd have tons of recourse.

    and this is true

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    Talk to you employer, give them an opening to tell you what is wrong, and if you can resolve the situation or not. If you can't, then you're effectively fired, without being actually fired.

    Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure they're within their rights on this one, as I know that the Running Room does this as their corporate policy and has for years... They never fire anyone, always just reduce the hours to zero and wait for the employee to quit. I've never heard of them getting called on it yet.

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    Originally posted by codetrap
    Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure they're within their rights on this one, as I know that the Running Room does this as their corporate policy and has for years... They never fire anyone, always just reduce the hours to zero and wait for the employee to quit. I've never heard of them getting called on it yet.
    And they won't, a claim of constructive dismissal would be pretty easy to fight in this case.
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