Can my employer cut my pay because I stepped down from my position?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can my employer cut my pay because I stepped down from my position?

I recently stepped down from my supervisor position at work due to health reasons caused by stress from that position. When I inquired about my pay being affected my direct supervisor said that my pay will be cut. I never agreed to this pay cut be it verbally or in writing. Is it legal within for a company to cut my pay because I stepped down from my position due to health reasons? Also, can they cut my pay under state labor law if I did not agree to it either verbally or in writing?

Asked on September 20, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, California


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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Your pay can be cut unless doing so violates the terms of a union agreement or employment contract. The fact is that most work is "at will" which means that a company can set the conditions of the workplace much as it sees fit (absent some form of actionable discrimination). Accordingly, your pay can be decreased due to stepping down to a lower paying position, no matter what the reason.

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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