If my employer just noticed that I am getting paid more than the other employees that have been there longer than me, can they reduce my pay because of their mistake?

Asked on October 11, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Do you have an employment contract or is there a union or like agreement that would prohibit your wage reduction? Does this action violate company policy? If not, then your decrease in pay is perfectly permissable under the law so long as it does not break minimum wage statutes. The fact is that most employment relationships are what is known as "at Will". This means that an employer can set the terms and conditions of employment much as it sees fit including the setting of wages. For their part, an employee can either accept these terms or quit. 
Note If your decrease in pay was the result of actionable discrimination or retaliation, then you would have a claim. However, you did not indicate that this was the case.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.