Can my employer take back a raise that was approved and off signed on?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can my employer take back a raise that was approved and off signed on?

About 9 months ago, I received a raise. However, now because my employer is facing a lawsuit and revenue is down, they want to take 5% back from each bi-weekly paycheck for the next month. This has nothing to do with performance. Can this be done?

Asked on March 8, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

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

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Unless this raise was guaranteed under the terms of an employment contract or union agreement, your employer was free to take it back and reduce your wages. In an "at will" work arrangment, an employer can set the conditions of employment much as it sees fit (absent some form of legally actionable discrimination). That having been said, wages cannot be decreased retroactively. In other words, they can only be reduced for work yet to be perfomed, not for work already completed.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Yes, they can do this, unless you have a written employment contract for a defined or set period of time (e.g. a one-year contract) which is still in effect and which guarantees you the money. Without such a contract, because of "employment at will," which is the law of this land and which puts all aspects of an employee's job (including whether he/she has a job and compensation) under the employer's sole control, the employer is free to change or reduce your pay whenever they want.


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 AttorneyPages.com 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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption