Can my employer force me from hourly to salary?

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022

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Can my employer force me from hourly to salary?

I currently work in an hourly position and I have a tremendous workload. I feel as if I am considerably underpaid, intentionally not given the same amount of authority, or appropriate and undervalued in my

position in comparison to other males that have done this exact kind position in the past. I am asked to do

the job, but specifically regarded as some form of administrative assistant instead of in a managerial capacity. I feel as though this may fall into a California Equal Pay violation. My manager is saying that I am getting a pay raise soon. However, I think it’s a small raise and it is in a way to force me to a salary vs hourly so that I am not paid for the overtime I work due to the workload I have. On another note, the workload I have is quite tremendous in comparison to the workload of the men who performed prior to me because I have many more administrative tasks than they did when they did this job due to the fact that they were back up managers used just in case they were needed. So they like to pile tons of paperwork and extra tasks on me since I don’t have this just in case additional job title, then say I’m not as valuable, therefore they use this as the bonafide

reason why Im worth less in terms of the pay scale. So I guess I have two questions, can they force me from hourly to salary, and does this sound like a California Equal Pay Act violation?

Asked on September 3, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

1) An employer has 100% discretion (subject to not discriminating; see below) over how employees are paid (e.g. hourly vs. salary) and how much they are paid, and can change how the employee is paid and the amount they are paid at will. So they can make you salaried, even if that results in an effective pay cut for you.
2) Your question implies, but does not state outright, that you are female. If you are female and  male employees were paid more the same work, or paid the same for doing much less work, you may have a discrimination claim and should contact the state's equal/civil rights agency or the federal EEOC. 
However, if you are male, too, then other men may be treated/paid/etc. better than you without any legal violation.

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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