Can an employer get rid of a position and give the employee who was in that position half the yearly salary for a different position?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can an employer get rid of a position and give the employee who was in that position half the yearly salary for a different position?

A local social club decided to eliminate the bar manager position there to cut costs. The person in that position, has been there 20 years. They told him that he could stay as a bartender but for only half of the yearly salary he was receiving before. They did not give him written notice and the wage decrease will take effect 6 days prior to his being informed of all of this. Is there anything that he can do about this?

Asked on January 24, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania


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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, this is legal. That is unless this action violates the terms of an applicable union agreement or employment contract. The fact is that most employment is "at will". This means that a company can set the conditions of work much as it sees fit. Accordingly, a worker can be demoted or have their wage reduced (or can even be terminated), for any reason or no reason at all, with or without notice.

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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