If my employer is not paying me the amount we agreed on can I sue them?

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If my employer is not paying me the amount we agreed on can I sue them?

If my employer agreed that I get paid 20 an
hour but I only get paid 18 and I have
everything on email. And they are not going to
pay me the correct amount of money we
agreed on. Do I have the rights to sue them?

Asked on March 4, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Washington

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Unless you have a union agreement that covers this situaton or a valid (i.e. written and for a definite term) employment contract, your employer was free to reduce your hourly wage. In an "at will' employment arrangement, a company is free to set the conditions of work much as it sees fit, absent some form of legally actionable discrimination.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, unless you have an actual signed written contract for a definite term (e.g, a one year contract), your employer is free to change or reduce your pay at will and is not bound to any prior agreements or what he told you, whether orally or in writing. Only a written contract for a definite term (which term has not yet expired) limits your employer's right to change your pay or compensation. (If you do have such a contract, you can enforce its terms--in ciurt, with a lawsuit, if necessary.)


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