Can my company cut my pay for no reason other than just wanting to?

UPDATED: Mar 24, 2012

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Can my company cut my pay for no reason other than just wanting to?

I have been employed by my company for 3 years and have advanced into a position where I repersent our company while working inside of another busniess. Recently one of my supervisors told me how good of a job I was doing but he wanted to renegotiate my pay. He wanted to move me back into one of our stores which is a demotion and keep the same pay or stay at the position I’m at and take a $ 4.50 and hour pay cut. Can this be legal? All my reviews are great and my attendance the same; no discipline problems or any kind of bad reviews. The business I serve found out and are really upset to the point they have contacted the upper management in their company. Is there any thing I can do to stop this injustice ?

Asked on March 24, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Tennessee


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, unfair and illegal are two different things--many things that are unfair are perfectly legal, and this most likely is one of them. If you do not have an employment contract guarantying your wage or salary, you are an employee at will. Not only can an employer terminate an employee at will at any time, for any reason, but it can do anything short of termination--including transferring, changing shifts or duties, demoting, or cutting pay--at will, too. So despite good reviews, your employer may cut your pay if it wants to.

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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