Can my salary be reduced if my job description was re-written under a company reorganization if I now have fewer employees to supervise and less job duties?

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Can my salary be reduced if my job description was re-written under a company reorganization if I now have fewer employees to supervise and less job duties?

I am an exempt employee and paid under a salary rate. There is no contract for employment as I am in an “at will” state.

Asked on October 8, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Alaska

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Since you are in an "at will" employment state, then yes the employer can generally change the terms of the employment relationship at any time-- including changing duties and cutting pay.  The employee has the right to reject the terms and seek new employment.

There are, however, some exceptions to the at-will rules, even in Alaska.  First, if your employment paperwork (like a hand-book, employment agreement, etc.) makes statements which could modify the at-will status, then the at-will rule may not apply.

The other exception is violation of federal or state laws.  An employer cannot impose adverse actions (just like the ones you describe) in retaliation for an employee's status as a whistleblower or as a member of a federally protected class (like racial or gender discrimination). 

If one of these exceptions applies to your situation, you may want to visit with an employment law attorney or consider filing a complaint with the EEOC.


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