Reducing my hourly rate without notice

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Reducing my hourly rate without notice

I accepted a position with a company at
27/hr. I was paid that rate on my first
2 paychecks. My next paycheck reflected
22/hr and the owner cut my OT hrs
worked from 15 hrs to 3 hrs with no
explanation on either. Obviously I
noticed after I looked at my paystub
because I was expecting a much bigger
pay check that week

Asked on July 4, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Maryland


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

The employer may not reduce your pay retroactively--that is, for work you have already done. For work you did or hours you worked, they must pay you the rate you were working at when you did the work. 
They also may not reduce your hours, including overtime hours, from what you actually worked. The law (e.g. the Fair Labor Standards Act or FLSA) is clear: you must be paid for all hours actually worked. 
Based on what you write, you appear to have a viable wage-and-hour claim and may wish to contact the state's department of labor to file a complaint.
They can reduce pay with notice on a going-forward basis: from the moment they tell you that you pay is lower, it will be lower.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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