Can my employer lower my wages because she is now required to pay us mileage?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can my employer lower my wages because she is now required to pay us mileage?

I work for a mobile company. When we got transferred to W-2 employee from being 1099 contractors they gave us a $3 raise and said that the $3 increase was for our gas mileage. They said that it would be better for us tax-wise. They increase just shows on our check as part of our hourly rate. She did this in place of the .58 a mile. Now that the company is being required to pay mileage to all employees, she is going to deduct our pay by $3 and give us the .58 a mile. I live and work in CA. Can they do this?

Asked on May 23, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, California


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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Unless this wage reduction violates the terms of an employment contract or union agreement, it is legal. The fact is that an employer can set the conditions of the work much as it sees fit (absent some form of legally actionable discrimination). Further mileage reimbursement is at the discretion of an employer; in other words legally they can choose not to provide it. 

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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