Final pay hourly wage cut

My husband recently quit a job because the new owner cut his hours and we could no longer afford the long drive to his job everyday. He did not give a two weeks notice and when he picked up his final paycheck, they paid him $5.15 an hour instead of his regular $11.00 an hour. This has created quite a hardship for us. Is this legal? What can we do? Thanks.

1 answer  |  asked Jun 9, 2005 8:56 PM [EST]  |  applies to Ohio

Answers (1)

Neil Klingshirn
Your employer may owe the balance on the pay

If your husband is an at-will employee, meaning he was free to quit without notice and his employer was free to terminate his employment without notice, then his employer was just as free to reduce his pay at any time. However, the employer has to notify the employee before teh employee works that it just reduced the pay. Otherwise, if the agreement with your husband was to pay him $11.00 per hour and your husband worked the hours, your husband is entitled to $11.00 per hour.

A problem you may find, however, is that you have to go to court and sue the former employer to collect the difference. Lawsuits are genearlly very expensive and can cost thousands of dollars to pursue. Therefore, in far to many cases, justice is simply to expensive to obtain. This is especially true when the amount of lost wages is relatively small.

In your case, to overcome this problem, consider going to small claims court. You do not need to hire an attorney and the filing fee is only about $75. Ask for the amount of unpaid wages. In addition, ask for the penalties provided for under Ohio Revised Code Section 4113.15. Here is a link to the Ohio Revised Code, where you can find a copy of section 4113.15:

You will probably have to copy that and paste it in the address bar of your browser. At any rate, if you are willing to take the time and deal with the aggravation of small claims court and your husband worked the hours with the understanding that he would earn $11.00 per hour, then you should have a good chance of recovering it.

posted by Neil Klingshirn  |  Jun 10, 2005 11:35 AM [EST]

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