Can an employer decrease your hourly pay just becauseit wants too?

UPDATED: Oct 14, 2011

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Can an employer decrease your hourly pay just becauseit wants too?

Asked on October 14, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Georgia


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Actually, your employer can do this. That is unless this pay cut violates existing company policy or you have a union agreement or employment contract that prohibits such a decrease. If not, you are an "at will" employee. Accordingly, while you have the right to work for this particular employer or not, in turn this employer has wide discretion in setting the terms and conditions of your employment. This includes increasing/decreasing salary, with or without notice, with or without cause. The is true so long as such action is not the result of any form of actionable discrimination.

You need to be aware however that this pay cut can be enforced only for wages going forward. Therefore, any hours worked prior to this salary change going into effect, must be paid at your previous pay rate.

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 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.

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