Can an employer decrease your pay without notice?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can an employer decrease your pay without notice?

I work for a company but I am contracted through a consulting firm. The pay and estimated length of my assignment for the company is 15/hr. 6 to 8 months. I started in January and stayed with the company for about 9 months. I didn’t notice until 9 months later that they decreased my pay after the 5th month to 14/hr. I didn’t get any notice. Can they just decrease my pay without any notice?

Asked on November 20, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Texas


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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Absent something in an employment contract or union agreement to the contrary, a pay rate cannot be decreased without first notifying the employee in question. While it can be changed for future work it cannot be decreased for hours already worked. At this point, you can either work out an arrangment with your former employer to pay you the difference, sue them in small claims court, por file a wage claim with your state's deartment of labor.

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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