Is it legal for company to cut pay 2 months into a new job?

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Is it legal for company to cut pay 2 months into a new job?

I recently took a new job that came about by my new employer offering me a large raise to leave my current employer. I am now 2 months into my new job and they are asking me to take a pay decrease. The reason I am being told is that my new salary should have never been approved and that I am making what a seasoned person in the same position is making. I left my previous job based off several lies the new company has told me. Is this legal? Anything I can do?

Asked on July 27, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Mississippi

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

There most likely is nothing you can do unless you have an actual written employment contract specifying or guarantying your salary. In the absence of a contract, an employer has free discretion to change (e.g. reduce) pay at will. And while you say they "lied" to you, for that to give you grounds to seek compensation, such as for fraud, your reliance on their alleged lie must have been reasonable. But with employment at will, it is not reasonable to rely on any statements or promises about pay unless it is in a written contract (since pay can otherwise be changed at will); or to put it another way, a court would likely conclude that if you were concerned about this, you should have made sure you had a contract, even if only for, say, 6 months, before leaving the old job.


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