Can my employer raise my pay then reduce it without my knowledge?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can my employer raise my pay then reduce it without my knowledge?

I have a copy of my pay history and I went from $10.76 to $13.00 then without my knowledge was took down to $11.13 per hour. Is this legal and, if not, do they have to make up my back pay?

Asked on January 30, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Kentucky


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Unless you have an employment contract or union agreement that gurantees you a set wage, then you are an "at will" worker and therefore your employer can change your rate as it deems appropriate. Basically, it can change any condition of your employment that is sees fit (absent some form of legally actionable discrimination). That having been said, a rate of pay can only be changed for hours going forward or not yet worked. As for any work that you have already performed, your wage must be for the rate that you were originally paid. A pay decrease cannot be retroactive. If you cannot come to some sort of agreement with your boss as to any pay owed you, then you can file a wage complaint with your state's department of labor.

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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