Yes. Unless there is a written employment contract or unless the employee is a member of a labor union subject to a collective bargaining agreement, the employer is entitled to reduce an employee's compensation.
However, the employer cannot do so retroactively.
In other words, it would be illegal for the employer to take away money the employee already earned, but it would not be illegal to reduce the number of hours the employee could work in a given week.
Frank W. Chen has been licensed to practice law in California since 1988. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice for a particular case. This Avvo.com posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, please consult with your own attorney.
Yes, absolutely. Not only that, the employer can suspend you entirely without pay or even terminate you. As long as you are an at will employee, your employer can do these things. If you are a union member, there may be greater protections so you should see your union rep if that is the case.
Good luck to you.
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If you are a union member, speak with your representative about filing a grievance.
If you have an employment contract, have a local employment attorney review it to determine if your employer's actions may violate the agreement.
Otherwise, you are an at-will employee, and your employer can change the terms of your employment without notice as long as it is not enforced retroactively.
This answer is provided for guidance only. DO NOT rely on it as legal advice. We DO NOT have an attorney-client relationship. You should contact an attorney in your area for a one-on-one consultation before pursuing any action or making any decisions.
I agree with the other answers and write only to add that if other similarly situated employees in the same situation are treated differently than you on the basis of race, age sex, etc., there could be a claim under Title VII or the state equivalent. This is an analysis that would require more information and I would encourage you to speak with an employment attorney in your area about your specific factual scenario.