I have been at current employment for 16 years. I am dropping FTE for a few months. Human Resources has informed me when I return to current FTE I will have to reapply for my job and will be paid new employee wage and will have new employee vacation hours. I currently have 6 weeks of vacation and will have 2 weeks vacation and will not be paid as someone with 16 years with the company. I will drop to non benefit earning for a few months working 1-2 days a month maybe more. I am not leaving the company.
Assuming there is no collective bargaining agreement or individual contract of employment, the employer may set any legal terms and conditions of work. The terms you describe are probably legal under federal law. However, the devil is always in the details. It is possible that there is something improper, but we would need more information than you should share on a public forum to properly assess the situation..
There may be other protections available to you depending on why your hours are being reduced so drastically. Additionally, there may be state laws that would afford protection to you where federal laws would not. You should review your situation in detail with a locally licensed employment law attorney to better understand your legal options.
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