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Is it legal for my employer to cut my pay?

One of the most frustrating experiences in the business world can be when a company reduces an employee's pay or benefits without reducing his or her responsibilities. While this may seem unfair, it is still legal in many cases. For workers who do not have the extra protections offered by an employment contract or collective bargaining agreement, a reduction in pay is a frustrating reality of the business world.

In most cases, both the employee and the employer have the right to end the work relationship at any time, assuming that there is no discriminatory behavior involved. The employee's right to quit his or her job at any time is balanced by the employer's ability to end or modify the employee's position. While reducing pay or hours can done for any number of reasons, it is usually because of difficult financial times within the company, and is used as an emergency measure to keep the company solvent.

There are still some parameters that govern how pay may be reduced. The most basic guideline for employers is that pay may not be reduced below the minimum wage. An employer may also not reduce an employee's pay without first giving him or her proper notification. Furthermore, a pay reduction that can be demonstrated to be discriminatory is not allowed.

If you believe that you have experienced an unethical or illegal reduction alf pay at your place of employment, then you may want to enlist the help of an experienced attorney. With proper legal guidance, you can evaluate the strength of your claim and understand the full scope of your options for pursuing justice, while ensuring that your rights remain protected in the process.

Source: The Balance, "Can a Company Cut Your Pay or Hours?," Alison Doyle, accessed Dec. 23, 2016

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