Can an at-will-employer legally change an employee’s hourly wage without notice and retroactively?

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Can an at-will-employer legally change an employee’s hourly wage without notice and retroactively?

A few weeks ago, my employer reduced one of my coworkers’ hourly wage for a short period because of his availability. Is it legal to do this without notice? Is it legal to retroactively change someone’s hourly rate for the final days worked after they have been fired for reason unrelated to policy violations or work quality?

Asked on August 15, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Alabama

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Unless otherwise provided under the terms of an employment contract or union agreement, a worker's wage cannot be changed retroactively; all time worked must be paid at the agreed rate. That having been said, a pay reduction is legal for all work going forward once the employee is so notified, so they can either accept the decrease or quit.


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