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


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.

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