If I do not want to change to an hourly rate, what should I tell HR?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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If I do not want to change to an hourly rate, what should I tell HR?

I was called by HR and was told that it is better for me clock in since I often stay longer than 40 hours a week and this would benefit me more. However, they have to pay me lower than what I am receiving weekly based on the average pay I had last year. For example, if I am paid $1000/week at $25/hour. Now they will just be paying me $20 per hour average from last year, plus overtime after 40 hours times which I am not paid now because I am on salary.

Asked on September 14, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Rhode Island


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You can tell HR anything you like, such as you prefer the stability or predictability of a salary over the potential higher earnings of overtime, but at the end of the day, if they want to change you to hourly, they can: unless you have an employment contract setting the terms of your employment (such as specifying that you are salaried), you are an "employee at will," and an employer may change how an employee at will is paid (e.g. hourly vs. salaried) and how much they are paid at any time for any reason, regardless of what the employee wants. So you can try to convince them to let you stay salaried, but the ultimate decision is not up to you.

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