Can my employer decrease my hourly wages after an injury caused me to be put on light duty?

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Can my employer decrease my hourly wages after an injury caused me to be put on light duty?

I was injured at my part-time job returning to my full-time job I am restricted to light duty, now my employer is trying to decrease my wages due to me being unable to drive for 6 months now I am restricted to desk duty is it legal for my employer to do this?

Asked on October 25, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Yes, it would seem to be legal. An employer must make reasonable accomodations for a disabled (including temporarily disabled) employee. Such accomodations could include what the employer has done: shifting you to a desk job or desk duty. However, even while making accomodations, the employer does not have to pay people for NOT working or not working as much; i.e. IF the desk job legitimately pays less than the position involving driving--i.e. people who do desk work receive less pay than those who did what you used to do--the company could pay you at their regular rate for the work you are now doing. What they can't  do is pay you less than other people doing similar duties for similar hours, since that might itself constitute illegal discrimination. So as long as they could substantiate that you are being paid appropriately for  the job you can and are doing and are not being discriminated against because of you injury or disability, it would seem to be legall. They don't necessarily have to keep paying you a premium wage for a non-premium job.


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