If there was a misunderstanding aboutmy rate of pay, what canI do about it?

My boss said I agreed to an $8 pay cut when he took over the business. I never saw the paper he claimed he showed me and I thought we were talking about how many hours a week I work. Now he says it was my fault for not paying attention during our discussion. What can I do? It turns out to be about a $300 loss for me.

Asked on November 11, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Illinois


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Did you have an employment contract, guarantying you a certain rate of pay? If not, then your employer is entitled to cut your pay whenever he wants--employers are free to set the terms and conditions of work, including hours and pay, at will; they are also generally free to teminate employees at will (unless there is a contract to the contrary), which means they may take steps short of or less than termination--like reducing pay.

So if you have a contract, you may enforce it's terms; otherwise, regardless of whether you had discussed it previously, or you had agred to it, your employer may reduce your pay.

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