Can my employer hire me for 12/hr then pay me minimum wage 9.45

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Can my employer hire me for 12/hr then pay me minimum wage 9.45

So I work for a sub-contract company and
have for about a year. it’s not
unionized though it needs to be. Anyways
I’ve been working with them for about a
year full time close to home. Then a few
months ago they came in and handed me a
contract that said either today is your
last day or I’m being transferred to
part time and an hour away. So I took it
because I needed some kind of work. I
started looking for another job
unsuccessfully. But then my supervisor
called and offered me another job close
by for 12 an hour. I took it and I’ve
been working there almost a month. I got
my first paycheck since working there
and it seemed like alot less than it
should be. I looked through my paycom
and seen I’m only getting 9.45 an hour.
I was never informed of this and I
haven’t gone to my supervisor yet but I
know she’ll try and brush it off but I
feel so deceived. I don’t know what to
do. Do I threaten to quit if they don’t
raise it to 12? They told me the other
workers got 10 so not to tell anyone I
made more than them but I actually make
less. Do I talk to a lawyer? I’m lost,
any help is appreciated please. I
actually need this job but I should get
paid more. Anytime my supervisor calls
because she needs someone I always say
yes. I’m never late and have never
missed a day and I work hard. I’m their
golden boy but I deserve more.

Asked on September 9, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

If you did not have a written employment contract guarantying you a certan pay for a fixed period of time (e.g. a one-year contract with a set start date), your employer may change your pay at will with notice. That means, the pay change is effective from the moment they tell you about it forward. However, all work done prior to them telling you of a change must be paid at the rate you were aware of at the time. So now that you know you are earning $9.45/hour, that's your pay; but the work you did prior to learning they'd reduced your pay should have paid at the rate they had previously told you, or $12/hour. You could, if you deem it worthwhile, file a complaint with the state department of labor or sue (e.g. in small claims court) for the extra $1.55/hour for the first pay period. However, since as stated, the reduction to $9.45 once you were made aware of it is legal, all you can get is the extra $1.55/hour (pre-tax) for that first pay period, which may not be worth taking legal action over.


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