Can my manager withhold information about a pay structure change over halfway into the new pay period?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can my manager withhold information about a pay structure change over halfway into the new pay period?

A new law went into effect for people working
with a Board of Barbering and Cosmetology
license, and it affects how we get paid. Up until
1/1/2018 we worked on hourly plus commission
and the only thing we know is we arent getting
commission anymore because our boss wont
pay double minimum wage as a starting salary
to comply with this law. But we have not been
notified of these changes and this new pay
period ends 1/15/2018. Nobody knows what
theyre paychecks will look like. Is there
anything we can do legally, or are we just
sitting ducks?

Asked on January 8, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

A change in pay only goes into affect from when you are told of it--of the details of the change; i.e. what your pay will be--forward. While long lead time or advance notice is not required, you must be paid as per your existing arrangement or agreement (even if only an oral one) until you get notice. You can't have the notice of the change or your wage be retroactive--you need to be told before you do the work for which you are being paid the new wage.
That said, the only way to enforce your rights in this regard would be  by suing, and unless it's a very large difference, that would not be worthwhile. Once you get the new check, you'll know the wage going forward; therefore, you're talking about only being uninformed for one pay period (i.e. the first pay period that you are paid under the new structure). It is unlikely that the the difference in pay between old and new pay structure for one pay period would be worth a lawsuit.

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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