What to do if a long term employee of 22 years isbeing faced with a major pay cut and other unfair terms?

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What to do if a long term employee of 22 years isbeing faced with a major pay cut and other unfair terms?

I have worked for the same hospital for 22 years as a medical transcriptionist. I have always been paid hourly, with periodic raises and finally making a decent wage. However, they are now going to start paying us by production/per line, which will result in a significant pay cut for myself and the few others who have been there the longest. They are planning to pay us all a flat rate per line regardless of our years of service. They have also told us that if the census is low, resulting in lack of work, we will be required to use our PTO if we have any or not get paid at all.

Asked on December 20, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, New York

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You have 2 issues here. First is the pay cut. Does such a cut violate an employment contract or union agreement? Is there existing company policy that prohibits such a decrease in pay? Is discrimination a factor in the lowering of your wage? If not, then as an "at will" employee your employer's action is perfectly legal. The fact is that an employer has a great deal of discretion in setting the terms and conditions of employment, including salary increases and decreases. In turn, an employer can choose to work for an employer or not.

As for mandating that PTO potentially be used, that too is lawful. Such time is not legally required to be given, so to the extent that an employer provides it, it may dictate just how, when and why it is used. As with the above, this is subject to any restrictions that may be placed on an employer by virtue of company policy, an employment contract or union agreement, etc.


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