Can an employer change a worker’s hourly rate after they give notice for work performed prior to notice being given?

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022

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Can an employer change a worker’s hourly rate after they give notice for work performed prior to notice being given?

My daughter-in-law gave 2 weeks notice for the school where she taught. Now, she just received her paycheck and her hourly rate was cut to minimum wage. This is for hours she worked before she even gave notice. Is this legal? It certainly isn’t ethical.

Asked on August 15, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Minnesota


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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, it cannot. While (absent an employment contract/union agreement to the contrary) an employer can chnage a worker's rate of pay as it sees fit, it cannot do so for work that has already been performed. In other words, there can be no reduction in pay after the fact (i.e. retroactively). That having been said, her pay cut was legal for all work that she completed after her notice was given. At this point, if she thinks it worth her while, she can file a wage complaint with your state's department of labor or sue for any wages owed her in small claims court.

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