If the company I work for is contracted by the government. recently told me I was being demoted and my salary would be cut by $3.00 an hour, what options due I have besides quitting?

They attempted this 2 1/2 years ago, at which time I gave them my resignation. They made the decision to keep me at my salary no cut. Now they are trying this.

Asked on September 4, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, District of Columbia


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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Whether or not your employer was contracted by the goverment has nothing to do with your demotion and/or salary reduction. Unless this action violates an employment/union contract, company policy or constitutes some form of legally actionable discrimination/retaliation, it is perfectly legal. The fact is that in most employment relationships, employers can set the terms and conditons of the worklace much as it sees fit. This includes who to demote and whose salary to reduce.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You don't really have any options other than quiting. The fact that your employer is contracted by the government is irrelevant for this purpose. Unless you had a written employment contract, which from your question, you most likely do not, you are an employee at will and private companies may demote or reduce the pay of employees at will at any time, for any reason whatsoever. They could also simply terminate you outright, if they chose to. So this is most likely legal.
Before resigning, it would be better to have a new job lined up conventional wisdom is that it is easier to get a new job while still employed than while unemployed becasue, even though it is unfair, prospective employers often look askance at the unemployed.

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