Decrease in pay with an internal higher position move

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Decrease in pay with an internal higher position move

Good day I am a lab employee for a major company. I started with the company as a lab tech. Worked several years and obtained a salary level. I was recruited to another department and city location in the same state CA. This position is a Phlebotomist, which is a higher position internally that requires certification. When I moved to the new position the supervisor decreased my hourly wage significantly because she said I was new to the position. This company has been riddled with labor lawsuits. Now there is a union organizing to meet with all employees. My supervisor recently approached me to implement a 3 dollar hour wage increase. I asked what was the reason, because I had been inquiring over the years about my pay because of the aforementioned incident. She stated it was the right thing to do. Are companies able to decrease ones pay in this case?

Asked on February 26, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Yes, a company can decrease your pay with a move to a higher position--or a lateral transfer, or if you stay in the same position; i.e. at any time, no matter what your position--unless you have a written employment (including union) contract setting your pay. Without a contract, you are an employee at will, and one of the consequences of being an employee at will is that your pay is subject to the "will" of the employer: they can change it at any time, for any reason.

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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