Can your employer lower your wages if you are transferring departments?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can your employer lower your wages if you are transferring departments?

I work at a hotel. Right now I’m in the food and beverage department and looking to transfer at the front desk. In my current department, I’m making what a supervisor would make because I was a supervisor before I stepped down. If I transfer to the front desk in the same hotel, they said they wouldn’t be able to pay me what I’m getting paid currently. Is this legal?

Asked on April 11, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, California


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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Unless your pay rate is guranteed under the terms of an employment contract or union agreement, you have noright to your current wage. In an "at will" work relationship, a company can set the conditions of employment much a it sees fit. This includes who gets paid how much for what job. Accordingly, unless your treatment is the result of some form of legally actionable discrimination, you have no claim here.

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