cut in pay legal without notice

I am a auto technician and recently my pay was cut from $19/hr to $18.63 due to recent experation of my certifications. Is the company allowed to do this? I am scheduled to take the tests in Nov. Other employees were given a year to take the tests. Mine were due in July but I was unable to take the test when it was given as I was taking care of my terminally ill father. Please advise if cutting pay is legal. Thank you

1 answer  |  asked Oct 25, 2003 9:14 PM [EST]  |  applies to New York

Answers (1)

David M. Lira
Pay Cut without Notice

Because of the employment at will doctrine, under which an employer can fire you at any time for any reason or no reason at all, an employer can cut your pay, without notice, and without reason. Conceptually, the pay cut situation is the same as the termination situation. In other words, you can look at it as your being fired from your higher paying job, and being offered a new, lower paying job.

However, if you worked a pay period believing you were being paid at the higher rate, then learned only by looking at your paycheck that you rate had been reduced, then you would probably be able to sue for the difference between the higher and low rate, but only for that pay period, or those pay periods, during which you were unknowingly working at the lower rate. Your best bet in that situation would be to go to the NYS Department of Labor for assistance. But note, the difference has to be no more than $600. Otherwise, you can sue, including in small claims court.

posted by David M. Lira  |  Oct 27, 2003 08:59 AM [EST]

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