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I was hired as a contractor and was told I
would be paid 45 per hour and 328.50 per
day in per diem that covers lodging, car
rental, gas, incidentals and food. I let the
company know I needed my hotel covered up
front for the first month. They covered the
hotel with the company credit card, but
decided they would cut my per diem down to
51 per day. I feel this is not legal
because all was in writing. They should have
let me reimburse when I got paid. Is this
legal? All information was in writing
Asked on May 1, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, California
SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney
Answered 3 years ago | Contributor
IF the writing you refer to was a contract for a fixed or set duration, such as a 6-month, 1-year, etc. contract, then they could not change its terms until the contract expires. If they during the duration or term of the contract, they did not pay you what the contract said they should during that period of time, you could sue them (such as for "breach of contract") for the money.
However, if the writing or documents was not for a set or fixed time, it could be changed at any time on notice by the employer: that is, they could tell you Monday morning that they are reducing the per diem and have that be effective starting that day. That is because an agreement not for a fixed or definite term does not lock in the agreement's terms for any particular amount of time. So if you did not have a contract or other agreement for a set amount of time, they could change (reduce) your per diem more-or-less at will.
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