Employer took me from hourly to salary with a payout around 30K a year

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Employer took me from hourly to salary with a payout around 30K a year

My mother has been a nurse for 40 years. She now does not work on the floor but helps to develop new patient location record keeping called CS-Link. Up until May of this year she has been hourly, getting her bonuses for the masters she went back to school for at age 60 and completed at 62 she is now 64, receiving OT because the jobs demands it so heavily, and making a livable wage for Los Angeles. Now after receiving her 1st salaried paycheck she has realized

she is going to be making between 30k-40k less a year, losing her 6 increase on base pay for her masters degree as well as the bonuses for how many years she has been a nurse. This substantial loss of wages has her terrified that we are no longer going to be able to afford rent, our car payment, pay off bills, credit cards, or put food on the table. We are asking if there is anything that can be done? Was this legal for the hospital to do?

Asked on June 25, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

It is perfectly legal. The employer has 100% discretion or control over whether an employee is hourly or salaried; an employer can change an emplyee from hourly to salary (or vice versa) at will, without offering any payout. Any work she did up until the change should be paid at her hourly rate; once the change was made, at her salary. And employees can end up earning less due to the shift; that is legal.

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