Can an employer lower your rate of pay without providing written notice?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can an employer lower your rate of pay without providing written notice?

My employer HR and manager taked to me about a demotion. Without fully knowing everything and wanting to keep my job, I agreed. Nothing was ever given to me in writing, however they lowered my pay with our 01/30 paychecks. What can I do, since I am reading that in my state they must provide it in writing first? Should I bring it up with our HR dept or seek legal help first?

Asked on March 14, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, North Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

The reduction in pay is effective only from when the employee is provided notice of it forward--that is, you have to know you are getting a reduction. This means generally that if they failed to actually formally notify you, but you instead saw the reduction in your paycheck, the reduction for that pay period should be ineffective and reversed, due to lack of notice; but having seen that they were reducing your pay, the reduction for all future pay periods is valid, because you now have notice.

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