What should I do if my employer decreased my salary but did not tell me?

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What should I do if my employer decreased my salary but did not tell me?

I worked for almost 1 month under the impression that my salary was “X” amount only to find out that I was working for almost 25% less than “X” for the past month. When I asked my supervisor, they said “Oh yeah, I forgot to mention….”. Is this illegal?

Asked on April 10, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

It is legal to decrease your salary, so long as you did not have an employment contract (including  union or collective bargaining agreement) setting your compensation. However, a decrease is only effective on a forward-looking basis, or from when you were told of the change. Until you are notified of the decrease, all work you do is under the previous rate--the rate which you had implicitly agreed to, in working for the company at that rate. Your salary may not be decreased retroactively; doing so violates the agreement (even if an unwritten one) under which you worked.

However, if your company will not pay you at the proper rate for that month, the only way to get the money from them would be to sue, which has its own costs. You need to evaluate whether it is worthwhile taking action.


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