If our store recently demoted several positions2 pay grades below cashiers, are we required now to do a cashier’s job without a cashier’s pay?

I work for a national retail chain. Some of the positions areas have cash registers. Now they have lowered our positions grades and our grade caps. Some folks are under the assumption because they are now over the cap they have to pay back money earned under the old pay grade. Is this possible?

Asked on October 11, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, West Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

1) If there is no--

* contract to the contrary, defining jobs, positions, pay, etc.

* no discrimination against a race, sex, religion, the diabled, or those over 40 years in age

* no retaliation for having used a protected benefit (e.g. FMLA leave) or filing a protect claim (e.g. for overtime)

--then the company gets to define job duties and job pay; it also can demote, transfer, suspend, fire, etc. employees at will. So unless one of the things above, next to the asteriks, applies, the company can make you a cashier's job without a cashier's pay. (If you do have a contract, it is enforceable as to jobs, titles, duties, pay.)

2) While a company can usually demote people at will, or reduce their salaries or wages, that is not retroactive; they don't need to give back money earned while they were at a higher rate of pay.


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