Can an employer reduce your pay without notifying you first?

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Can an employer reduce your pay without notifying you first?

My employer reduced my pay 1.75% when my commission kicked in and that was not something that was discussed with me before it happen. I didn’t know until I saw my paycheck online and when confronted they told me it was because of tax reasons on my behalf. They dropped my pay to minimum wage.

Asked on July 8, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, North Carolina

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Unless you have an employment contract or union agreement that guarantees your wage, you are an "at will" worker which means that your company can set the conditions of your employment much as it sees fit (absent some form of legally actionable duscrimination). This includes a reduction in wages without notification. That having been said, such a decrease may only be effective for work not yet performed. As to work already completed, you must be paid your at your former rate of compensation. In other words, a wage decrease cannot be retroactive. If you feel that your rights have been violated, you can either file a wage complaint with your state's department f labor and or consult directly with a local employment law attorney.


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