Can I get my earned wages back?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can I get my earned wages back?

A company that I worked retroactively cut my pay. My pay period was from 01/16 to 01/31 and the check date was on 02/16. On 02/01 the company changed the pay structure, it’s a mechant services company, so from pay period of 02/01 and on the pay was going to change based on production, however they decided to cut my earned wages of $1500 that I worked on pay period of 01/16-01/31. Can they legally get away with that? Can I get my money back?

Asked on June 17, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Kansas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

No, while an employer may reduce you pay *going foward*, from the moment they announce or provide notice of the pay cut to you, they cannot cut your pay retroactively, for work already done. Cutting your pay for work already done would be a violation of labor laws and/or breach of contract (i.e. violation of the agreement, even if only an oral/unwritten one, pursuant to which you did the work in exchange for certain pay). You could contact your state department of labor about the retroactive pay decrease--they may be able to help you. If the don't, you could sue the employer (e.g. in small claims court, acting as your own attorney or "pro se") for the money.

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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