Can my employer dock my pay or change my wages with out notifying me?

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2010

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Can my employer dock my pay or change my wages with out notifying me?

I usually make over $900 each pay check directly deposited into my account. Yesterday only $138 was deposited. When I called my boss they said they were discussing docking my pay due to my not working 45 hour work weeks. This was news to me considering I am on salary and have never heard talk of any of this prior to when I called and notified them of the mistake.

Asked on October 2, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

1) If you are an hourly employee, of course, you would only be paid for the hours worked. Even then, though, the amount you are not paid has to be directly proportionate to the hours you didn't work--you can't be penalized extra.

2) However, being paid on a salary basis means that your pay is not dependent on the number of hours worked. It is improper to reduce a salaried employee's pay for not working hours, and is a violation of the terms under which you work. You could potentially bring a legal action for the money.

3) Bear in mind that if you have been not working as many hours as you should, your employer does have a number of valid disciplinary options open to them: e.g. termination, suspension, reduction in pay or hours (going forward; they can't affect what you've already earned).

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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