Most people in the Pennsylvania labor force are considered “at-will” employees, meaning that either party can break the employment relationship with nothing owed to the other party, provided there was no express contract for a definite term such as with a union collective bargaining agreement. An employer is free to pay at-will employees any rate it deems fit provided that the rate complies with the minimum wage laws. Likewise, the employer is free to reduce the wages of any at-will employee at any time. The employer, may not, however, change the rate of compensation without first informing the employee. In other words, the employer cannot retroactively lower an hourly rate for hours that have already been worked; they must pay the amount of compensation that was mutually agreed upon.
Stew Crawford, Jr., Esq.
Crawford Law Firm
A Full Service Law Firm Serving Individuals and Families in Pennsylvania and New Jersey
223 North Monroe Street
Media, PA 19063 (Philadelphia Area)
There may be much more involved there (which is all too often the case). Do you have an employment contract? Are the other people of a different gender, age, race, etc? That information would be needed to determine whether you have been subjected to employment discrimination. If you feel that may be the case, please feel free to contact me for a consultation.
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There are too many open questions here before any attorney could provide an adequate answer.
- Do you know if you are treated as an employee, or an independent contractor?
- Do you have a written contract for your work at the salon?
- How many employees work at this salon?
- Is it an individual salon or part of a chain?
- Did the salon give you a reason for reducing your pay?
- Did the salon reduce your pay without giving you notice that they would be doing so?
- For the others whose pay was not reduced: were any or all of them NOT members of the same "protected class" as you (that is, were they younger? were they a different race? different sex or gender? different national origin? different sexual orientation?)
These questions would need to be answered before an attorney could give you adequate legal advice. I recommend contacting an attorney in your area for a consultation.