Can an employer switch your pay from salary to hourlyif youare pregnant?

UPDATED: Feb 13, 2012

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Can an employer switch your pay from salary to hourlyif youare pregnant?

She has worked there since the dealership opened. She is 11 weeks pregnant. She told her employer she was pregnant a few weeks ago and today they changed her pay from salary to hourly. She is a title clerk at the dealership and all the girls in the back office are salary except for her now.

Asked on February 13, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Oklahoma


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

An employer may not disciminate against an employee on the basis of pregnancy. In this context, "discriminate" effectively means "treat worse" in some way. So, an employer could not reduce her salary or demote her because she is pregnant...but if her income would stay the same (or very nearly the same; very minor discrepancies are probably not an issue or legally actionable), assuming she works the same number of hours that she did previously, then the company may change her to hourly status--there is no illegal discrimination in that.

For example: say she currently works 40 hours/week for a weekly salary of $800 ($41,600 per year). She could be changed to working on an hourly basis at a rate of $20: mathematically--and therefore legally--it is the same.

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