What are my rights regarding a salary reduction?

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What are my rights regarding a salary reduction?

I moved from one department to another dept 2 years ago. Old salary grade was higher than new job but was allowed to keep grade. Just reduced my grade to match job but also reduced my pay significantly even though salary did fall within lower grade structure. Can this be done?

Asked on December 8, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Maryland

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, your employer can almost certainly to this. Employers have almost total discretion to set compensation for their employees and to change compensation--including reducing salaries or wages--at will. The only exceptions would be:

1) If there is an employment contract, including a union agreement, to the contrary

2) In a government position, civil service rules might bar this

3) If the reduction is discrimination against an employee due to his or her race, religion, sex, age over 40, or disability (under federal law; some states add additional protected categories)

4) If the reduction is retaliation for having filed a protected claim, such as for overtime, FMLA leave, or that there had been discrimination

Otherwise, your employer may reduce your salary.


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