What are my rights if I accepted an offer from my company o relocate and at much higher salary but now my pay had been reduced by 40%?

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What are my rights if I accepted an offer from my company o relocate and at much higher salary but now my pay had been reduced by 40%?

I moved 1 1/2 years ago. I got a promised raise 5 months ago. However, this past week, I got a phone call saying they are reducing my salary by 40% but the reasoning seems to be a bit unclear. Others in the company received pay cuts (not everyone) but I don’t believe they all received cuts to the extent of mine. They say mine is based on the “expectations” they had of the revenues they anticipated by relocating me but they haven’t seen results, although there hadn’t been any stipulations on parameters, expectations or even an updated job description for me to hold up my end. Do I have recourse?

Asked on July 23, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If you have a written employment contract which is still in effect (e.g. its term has not expired), it controls: you cannot have your pay cut, or any other changes made to your job, in a way which violates your contract. 

If you don't have a contract, however, you are an employee at will; an employee at will may have his or her pay cut, or have his or her job changed, or even be fired, at any time, for any reason.

You write that you were relocated a year-and-a-half ago. Whatever promises or representations they made at that time, or whatever expectations you reasonably had, at that time no longer control or bind your employer--unless they were put into a written employment contract. Since employment, if there is no contract, is employment at will, once you move beyond a short time (several weeks, or a few months at most) after you agreed to relocate, the company may change or terminate your employment whenever or however it likes. That is why employment contracts are so valuable: they make employment promises and expectations enforceable.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If you have a written employment contract which is still in effect (e.g. its term has not expired), it controls: you cannot have your pay cut, or any other changes made to your job, in a way which violates your contract. 

If you don't have a contract, however, you are an employee at will; an employee at will may have his or her pay cut, or have his or her job changed, or even be fired, at any time, for any reason.

You write that you were relocated a year-and-a-half ago. Whatever promises or representations they made at that time, or whatever expectations you reasonably had, at that time no longer control or bind your employer--unless they were put into a written employment contract. Since employment, if there is no contract, is employment at will, once you move beyond a short time (several weeks, or a few months at most) after you agreed to relocate, the company may change or terminate your employment whenever or however it likes. That is why employment contracts are so valuable: they make employment promises and expectations enforceable.


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