Can an employer reduce your pay rate?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can an employer reduce your pay rate?

My employer moved me from nights to days with no mention of a reduced pay prior to the

switch. Now, 2 weeks into the new position, they want to reduce my pay.

Asked on February 14, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Kansas


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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Unless a pay reduction would violate the terms of an exisiting union agreement or employment contract, then it is legal. The fact is that most work relationships are "at will" which means that your company can set the conditions of your employment much as it sees fit (absent some form of legally actionable discrimination). That having been said, your wage decrease can only be for work going forward, not for work that you have already performed. In other words, it cannot be retroactive.

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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