If a job offers you a hourly position but the day before you start they change it to salary do I have to accept the change?

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If a job offers you a hourly position but the day before you start they change it to salary do I have to accept the change?

I was hired to work at a new employer.
They offered Me an hourly position and I
accepted. I put in my two weeks notice and
quit my previous employer. Two days before
my start date the new job says they are
changing my status to salaried. Do I have
to accept this change? I would have not
accepted the position if it was going to
be salaried.

Asked on March 9, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Wisconsin

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Did this change violate the terms of an employment contract or union/collective bargaining agreement? Did it constitute some form of legally actionable discrimination? Other than that, your employer was free to set the conditions of the workplace employment much as it saw fit. This is known as "at will" employment.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you have to accept the change unless you had a signed, written employment contract for a definite period of time (e.g. a one-year contract) guarantying you the hourly wage. Otherwise, in the absence of such a contract, as part of "employment at will" (which is the law of the land except to the extent limited by a contract), the employer is free to change how you are paid or how much you are paid at any time--even right before the job starts. It is the employer's choice, not yours, when there is no contract.


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