salaried emp. decreased to hourly-legal?

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salaried emp. decreased to hourly-legal?

i work in oregon in a restaurant as a salaried employee. Or I was salaried anyway and then they cut me down to hourly and decreased my wage. Then they cut my hours all due to lack of business. Is this legal?

Asked on May 11, 2009 under Employment Labor Law, Oregon

Answers:

LAR, Member CA State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Your private employer, unless it has extensive government contacts, has the right to structure your pay and schedule unless you have an employment contract. 

What is your job at the restaurant?  Are you being paid at least minimum wage?  If you are not being paid at least minimum wage, that could be a violation.  Also, any tips you earn should not be counted toward the minimum wage calculation.

J.M.A., Member in Good Standing of the Connecticut Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I am a lawyer in CT, but the laws relating to at-will employees is generally the same.  Unless you have an employment contract that provides you with a right to your salary, the employer can do what he wants.  However, the reason the employer takes such action cannot be based on race, sex, age, religion or having a disability.  If you think that the decision was motivated by one of these, then the employer is violating federal law.  If these do not apply here and the reason was truly "lack of business" then he is able to take this sort of action. 


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