Can my employer reduce my pay because I took an internship?

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Can my employer reduce my pay because I took an internship?

I work for a corporate entity part-time. I am required by my university to do at least 2 co-ops/internships. I took 1 for the summer, at which I am working full-time. Therefore, I had to change my availability to just once a week at my part-time job for the time being. They promptly demoted me and cut my pay by almost a dollar. I was not given any form or contract to sign. Can they legally do this?

Asked on July 15, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, New York

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Yes, in fact your employer can do this; such action is legally permissible. Absent a union/employment contract or company policy to the contrary, your employer is free to decrease your hours/pay/benefits at its discretion (as long as no minimum wage or like laws are violated). The fact is that in an "at will" work relationship, you employer can set the terms of your employment as it deems fit (absent engaging in workplace discrimination). For your part you can choose to work for this employer or not.


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