Is it illegal for my employer to now pay me the agreed upon wage at which I accepted the job?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Is it illegal for my employer to now pay me the agreed upon wage at which I accepted the job?

I took my current job based on a written offer letter which stated I would be paid $14.42 per hour. However, when I received my first pay stub I am only being paid $12.50 per hour. I spoke to my employer and they refuse to change it because they said I was told the wrong rate. This can’t be legal.

Asked on January 31, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio


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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If you accepted employment based on a rate as represented by your employer, then you are entitled to that rate, even if your employer made a mistake. That having been said, you are only entitled to it for work already performed. Your employer can change the rate for any furture work going forward, absent an employment contract or union agreement to the contrary. If it will not pay you the difference of what you should have been paid, then you can sue your company in small claims court and/or file a wage claim with your state's department of labor. Further, you should be aware that it is a violation to fire or in any other way to discriminate against an employee for filing such a claim or participating in any related legal proceedings.

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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