Can an employer reduce your pay for missing a meeting as punishment?

I recently missed a work meeting in which I’m a server and bartender. The manager told me that when I clock in when working as a bartender, I must

clock in as server which is $2.00 less. That doesn’t seem fair.

Asked on June 11, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Unless you have an employment contract or union agreemnt providing otherwise, yout employer  can set the condtions of the workplace muc as ot sees fit )absent some form of legally actionable discrimination). Accordingly, as an "at will" worker, your compay can change/reduce your wages at any time for any reason, including as punishemnt for missing a meeting. That having been said, your pay can only be changed prior to your working; in other words it cannot be retroactive (i.e. for hours already worked). 

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

It is not fair, but it is legal. Unless you have a written emplyment contract for a defined period of time (like a one-year contract) which is still in effect (e.g. unexpired), your employer has 100% control over your pay (without a contract, you are an "employee at will") and job duties, and can change or reduce them at any time, for any reason whatsoever--even to punish you for missing a meeting.

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