Lowering historical pay in VA

I am an adjunct who taught a course 2 years ago in the summer for $5,935.50, including first time prep. The following summer I taught for $3,957 but no prep time was included. So, when asked to teach this summer, I expected the same pay. I was not told the pay was lowered until the week before scheduled date of class. Can employer do this? Do I have any liability problems if I do not teach? No employment agreement has been signed yet. It is an online course and I have been listed as the professor.

Asked on May 5, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Virginia

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Unless you had an employment contract or union agreement that set your rate of pay, then you were an "at will" worker. This means that your employer was free to set your wages (or any other condition of your job) much as it saw fit. Additionally, you were informed of this change prior to your performing your job duties. Therefore, while this reduction in pay was seemingly unfair, it was legal.

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Unless you had an employment contract or union agreement that set your rate of pay, then you were an "at will" worker. This means that your employer was free to set your wages (or any other condition of your job) much as it saw fit. Additionally, you were informed of this change prior to your performing your job duties. Therefore, while this reduction in pay was seemingly unfair, it was legal.


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