Isnt it legal for an employer to cut your wages without notice?

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Isnt it legal for an employer to cut your wages without notice?

Prior to my wages being cut they cut my hours to 8
or 16 hours a week. So my management asked me
to move to a different department without saying my
wages would be cut. I then notice two weeks after
that my wages were cut by nearly five dollars an
hour and they did not notify me.

Asked on March 29, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Oregon

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

First of all, unless your hourly rate was guranteed under the terms of an employment contract or union agreement, your company had the right to reduce your wages at will. The fact is that an employer has the right to set the conditions of work much as it sees fit (absent some form of actionable discrimination). That having been said, wages cannot be reduced retroactively. That means that they cannot go down for work that has already been peformed; they can only be cut for work going forward and only after notifying an employee of the change. At this point, you could file a wage claim with your state's department of labor. Just be sure that it's worth it to you.

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

First of all, unless your hourly rate was guranteed under the terms of an employment contract or union agreement, your company had the right to reduce your wages at will. The fact is that an employer has the right to set the conditions of work much as it sees fit (absent some form of actionable discrimination). That having been said, wages cannot be reduced retroactively. That means that they cannot go down for work that has already been peformed; they can only be cut for work going forward and only after notifying an employee of the change. At this point, you could file a wage claim with your state's department of labor. Just be sure that it's worth it to you.


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