Can I sue my employer for giving me a

I was promoted to assistant manager. I was told I would be receiving more hours and a monthly bonus. After I accepted the promotion, they told me that I would get a .25 pay cut per hour but that with all of the overtime I would be getting that it would cover the difference. I did the math and there’s just no way it can work. Can I sue them for this?

Asked on May 18, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Alabama


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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Do you have protection from this action under the terms of an employment contract, union agreement or even company policy? Does your treatment constitute some form of legally actionable discrimination? If not, then your employer's action is legal. The fact is that most employment arrangements are "at will".  This means that a company can set the conditions of employment much as it sees fit; this includes wage increases/decreases relating to a job promotion.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, you can't sue them for this. An employer has complete discretion to set or change employee titles, job responsibilities, and pay, so your employer can legally "promote" you to a position in which you earn less money. The only exception would be if you had a written employment contract guarantying you a certain wage or salary; if you did, then if you make less than the amount in the contract, the employer has violated the contract and you could sue them for breach of contract. But without a contract, your job and your pay is whatever the employer wants them to be.

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