can an employer legally change your salary if you have a signed contract?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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can an employer legally change your salary if you have a signed contract?

i’ve been at my job in a restaurant for almost a year and a half. It isnt doing
the best. They said I need to take a pay cut. I have a signed contract that i
have read many times and says nothing about changing pay rate. Can they do that?

Asked on April 16, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Kansas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Is the document to which you refer an actual contract? By that, we mean is it for a fixed or definite period of time, like a one- or two-year contract from certain start date to end date, and is it not expired? 
If you have an unexpired contract for a fixed period of time, the employer cannot reduce or change your pay during the contractual period--that is, until it expires.
But if the document was not for a fixed period of time, it did not prevent the employer from changing your pay at will. When it's not for a set period of time, that means it is changeable at will; it is not a contract in any real sense, since it did not guaranty anything.
Similarly, if it was for a set period of time but has now expired, it no longer protects you and your pay may be changed. 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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