Unless there is a collective bargaining agreement (union contract) to the contrary, employers have the right to change the terms of employment including compensation. The changes must be prospective, not retroactive, and the compensation cannot be lower than the applicable statutory minimum wage. There is no minimum prescribed period of advance notice.
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yes, the employer can do this unless you have a contract that says otherwise.
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I am a California attorney and not eligible to give legal advice in your state. The following is information only, based on federal law and general legal principles. YOUR STATE MAY HAVE ITS OWN LAWS THAT PROVIDE SIMILAR OR GREATER PROTECTION. If I refer to your state's laws, that only means I did a quick Internet search and found something that appeared relevant. However, you should not rely on any comment I make regarding your state's law. You MUST check with an attorney licensed in your state.
As the other attorneys mentioned, it is most likely completely lawful for your employer to change your employment terms prospectively. Doing it in the way your employer did it strikes me as poor management. However, the law allows employers to be poor managers and to make stupid decisions. Please look at my Avvo guide to at-will employment which may help you understand your rights now and in the future: http://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/an-overview-of-at-will-employment-all-states.
Is there any reason you don't ask your employer if it intended to do this to you?
*** All legal actions have time limits, called statutes of limitation. If you miss the deadline for filing your claim, you will lose the opportunity to pursue your case. Please consult with an experienced employment attorney as soon as possible to better preserve your rights. *** Marilynn Mika Spencer provides information on Avvo as a service to the public, primarily when general information may be of assistance. Avvo is not an appropriate forum for an in-depth response or a detailed analysis. These comments are for information only and should not be considered legal advice. Legal advice must pertain to specific, detailed facts. No attorney-client relationship is created based on this information exchange. *** Marilynn Mika Spencer is licensed to practice law before all state and federal courts in California, and can appear before administrative agencies throughout the country. She is eligible to represent clients in other states on a pro hac vice basis. ***Ask a similar question
Assuming that you are an employee-at-will and not a union or contract employee, then within reason your employer can change your position and duties and reduce your salary for which you might be elgible to receive some unemployment compensation although you would need to file a claim to know for sure.
If you believe that the actions against you are for an illegal reason(s) such as protected class discrimination, i.e. sex, age-40 or older or race/national origin, then you could file a discriminaiton complaint with the Wisconsin Equal Rights Division (ERD) and call them at 608/266-6860 or look on the State website for the ERD.
You probably should contact an attorney who must have all your information in order to adequately evaluate your situation and inform you about your options.Ask a similar question