Can an employer cut your pay for any reason?

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Can an employer cut your pay for any reason?

I work in a production shop. We are expected to inspect the 3 pieces that make a part, put them together, and inspect them again before they are sent to inspection. A few bad parts slipped through and we were threatened with a pay cut.

Asked on October 6, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I'm afraid that it probably can.  In most states employment relationships are what is known as "at will", and MI is no exception.  What this means is that basically an employer can hire or fire someone for any reason or no reason whatsoever, as well has increase/decrease salary/hours, promote/demote, and generally impose requirements as they see fit.  You in turn can work for an employer or not, your choice. 

The exceptions the foregoing would be if there is a stated company policy contrary to this, or there is a union/employment agreement that does not allow for such action, or this situation has arisen due to some type of discrimination (i.e., for reasons due to your race, religion, age, disability, sex, national origin).  Otherwise, your employer is within its legal rights.

Note:  Any pay cut can only be for work performed going forward.  Any work done previously must be paid for at then then going rate.


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