I don't know if you would consider this a misunderstanding, or that I am naive not to have got exact details but this is basically what happened..
I just started a new job as the web designer for a company. They seemed very excited to find me for the position and in the interview it seemed like the workplace was very relaxed. Casual dress code, and when asking about the hours they said something along the lines of "Start at nine or nine-thirty in the morning and just make sure you have eight hours."
So when I started, they asked what hours I wanted and I said 9:30 to 5:30. They agreed that was fine and that was that.
Now as I worked over the past few months, it seems like most people within the company that I actually work with go home before 5:30. So, admittedly I have left early somewhat often and am usually out between a little after 5 to 5:20.
Just the other day, the hr person came to me and asked about my hours. She said the she noticed that I had been leaving closer to 5 than 5:30 and suggested that we change my hours to - 35 hours - per week. While I am in favor of a shorter work day, I was confused at why she said 35 and not 37.5.
I asked her about it and she said that lunches are unpaid so if I wanted an 8 hour shift that I would have to be here for 8 1/2 hours. So now I am given the decision of going from 9:30 - 5:30, to either 8:30 to 5:00 as an eight hour day, or 9:30 to 5:00 as a seven hour day.
She also followed up by saying she didn't want me to feel like I'd done anything wrong, that they just wanted to make sure they knew when I would be in the office.
So my question is, does this sound like I am being punished for leaving early and they have decided to just pay me less, or is this some kind of misunderstanding where when I started, it was implied that an 8 hour day was 9:30 to 5:30 and now I'm being told that an 8 hour day is 8:30 to 5:00?
Is there a constructive way I could bring this up to let the hr person know that when I was in the interview and when I started, the work hours we talked about as eight hours included the lunch?