Can my employer change my pay rate to minimum wage?

UPDATED: Jun 19, 2011

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Can my employer change my pay rate to minimum wage?

My employee handbook says: “Failure to give 2 weeks written notice will result in your last paycheck being calculated at minimum wage…”. Is this legal?

Asked on June 19, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I'm afraid that yes, your employer can do this. That is unless you have an employment/union agreement that controls here or this action is a result of discrimination. The fact is that your pay reduction was a part of legitimate stated company policy. You knew (or should have known) of this consequence in advance of not providing adequate notice. If you were not informed of your employer's policy prior to leaving and then after the fact your pay rate was reduced on your final paycheck, you would have a claim. But such are not the facts presented here. You should be aware that the majority of employment arrangements are "at will".  What this means is that an employer can increase/decrease salary/hours, promote/demote, and generally impose requirements as it sees fit.   

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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