If I was switched from salary to hourly with reduced pay and no extra for meal violations, is that legal?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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If I was switched from salary to hourly with reduced pay and no extra for meal violations, is that legal?

I am a restaurant manager that was hired on as salary exempt. About 3 months ago, all managers were told that our pay would be changed from salary to hourly because the company could not pay salaried managers the minimum amount required by law so the hourly change is to avoid paying

additional salary we have this in writing. We were told that our pay would be the same for 50 hour work weeks even though it was previously salaried for less. Plus, since we are unable to take an uninterrupted meal break we would receive a penalty payment for each shift. We were told that

Asked on April 23, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Yes, it is legal to change you from salary to hourly and to reduce your pay. Your employer, not you, determines what your compensation is and may change it at will. The only time the employer may not change your compensation--either the amount and/or how you are paid--is if had a still-in-effect (unexpired) written employment contract for a set or defined period of time (e.g. a one-year contract) locking in or guarantying your pay for that time period.

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