What to do if I was hired at salary 6 weeks ago and now my company wants me to be hourly because the payroll department has a hard time figuring out how to pay on call time?

The hourly rate equates to a pay cut. Can I refuse? And if fired, can I collect unemployment?

Asked on November 26, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Massachusetts


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, unless you have a written employment contract, your employer may change your salary at will--both how you are paid (salary vs. hourly) and amount (so, either raises or pay cuts). An employee has no right to refuse a change in pay; and if the employee does try to refuse and is fired as a result, she would not be eligible for unemployment, since this would be a "for cause" termination (for insubordination or not following your employer's instructions).

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Under the laws of all states in this country you can refuse to essentially take a pay cut and assuming one happens from what you are writing about you are stuck with it assuming you continue your employment. Assuming you are terminated because of what you have written about, you would be eligible for unemployment benefits.

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