Can the new owner(s) cut your base salary when they first take possession of the company you work for?

Asked over 1 year ago - San Diego, CA

Our mailing machine dealership was taken over by another mailing machine dealership from Orange County

Attorney answers (3)

  1. James Carl Eschen III

    Contributor Level 16


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . As long as you don't have a contract with the old owner dictating your salary (and the chances are very slim you would), your employer may prospectively change your compensation at any time. So, yes, the new owner can cut your pay.

  2. Marilynn Mika Spencer

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Probably. Unless you are represented by a union, have a contract that guarantees you a certain wage or the pay cut is based on your race, sex, disability, etc., then the employer can do whatever it wants; this goes for a current employer or a new employer. Unfortunately, employees and job applicants have very few employment rights, and employers have a lot of leeway in how they choose to run their businesses. In general, an employer can be unfair, obnoxious or bad at management. It’s not a level playing field. An employer hires employees to provide work for its benefit, not for the benefit of the employees. Don't expect the employer to take care of its employees; it doesn’t have to and it rarely does.

    As I mentioned, there are some limitations on what an employer can do, mostly in the areas of public policy (such as discrimination law or whistle blowing), contract law, union-employer labor relations, and constitutional due process for government employees. Please see my guide to at-will employment in California which should help you understand employment rights: After you take a look at the guide, you may be able to identify actions or behavior that fits one of the categories that allows for legal action. If so, an experienced plaintiffs employment attorney may be helpful.

    Employment rights come from the state and federal legislatures. One of the best things people can do to improve their employment rights is vote for candidates with a good record on pro-employee, anti-corporate legislation. Another way to protect employment rights is to form or affiliate with a union, or participate in a union already in place.

    I hope you can resolve your situation and wish you the best. *** All legal actions have time limits, called statutes of limitation. If you miss the... more
  3. David Gary Jones

    Contributor Level 11


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . As the competent employment attorneys have indicated, California law allows the employer and business owner great latitude in hiring and firing of at-will employees.

    This law is a recognition by lawmakers that businesses need flexibility in the manner in which they run their business, and should not be unreasonably constrained from making personnel decisions by the law.

    Please check the law of your state

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