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I recently took up a job. I was working 9-6 and after a month of training, they decided to cut my hours by 20. This was due to the fact that I was going over to overtime so much from them keeping me around doing tasks and learning.

This is also a small 5 man business.

The problem is now I am making less than the job I just left and have even less benefits.

Should I consider approaching the owner about this or should I consider finding a new job to meet my desired compensation? I worry that approaching the owner could effect me negatively and I am not sure how I could move on to a new job and expect good references in a job hunt or keep this job should they find out I am looking for a new job. I am currently in a 120 day process so I can be removed at any time without reason.

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  • Company hires you to a full time position. One month later you are cut to part time. That is not what a company does when they want to keep an employee. Sure sounds like they are hoping you will quit so they don't have to let you go and pay unemployment benefits. Look for another job. You have 20 extra hours a week to do that.
    – Dunk
    May 28 '15 at 22:34
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Your best bet is to go to your boss with your concern in a non-confrontational way. Say something like "I'm concerned that I'm not getting many hours lately and wondering what your expectations are for the future." Let them know that you're willing to limit your hours to 40 hours a week to prevent overtime (unless requested), but you're concerned about not even working a full 40 hours lately.

Also, I'd start focusing on what value you can add in your time there, instead of just learning. Paying you, especially overtime, to go through training and not add any real value gets old really fast when looking at budgets. Let them know areas where you're ready to contribute and how they'd like you to split your time between tackling those areas and additional learning.

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Should I consider approaching the owner about this or should I consider finding a new job to meet my desired compensation?

Yes.

This isn't uncommon. Small business owners often must make rapid changes, as their business fluctuates. And lots of overtime pay can be a significant strain on a 5-man business.

Talk with your boss/owner. Explain how much you like the job, but that you were expecting more hours. Explain how this 20-hour cut puts you in a difficult situation. Then listen.

If you sense that the job will be permanently reduced by 20 hours, and that it no longer fits your needs, then start looking for your next job.

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Does your contract not specify how many hours you should be working every week? If so, unless they drafted a new contract and you signed it, I'd venture to guess that you're still 'entitled' to your previous amount of working hours. You may want to seek legal council on this point as it may vary by country.

Regardless, the best way to resolve the situation is to talk to your boss and have a conversation about the future. Explain that you understand their point of view, but that the current situation isn't feasible for you. After that, focus only on finding a way of proceeding that will suit both you and your employer. If you cannot come to an agreement here, then your and your employer are not suited to one another and you should start looking for a new job.

When discussing the future, keep an open mind and don't be afraid of self-reflection. Perhaps there's something you could change, for instance in the way you learn things, that will improve the situation and allow them to give you your normal hours again? Perhaps there is a different approach to teaching you that might yield better results? Try to take your emotions out of the equation and handle the discussion as if you were talking about someone else. This will help you identify issues and will make it easier for you to find something that your employer will agree to.

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