Is it legal for my employer to reduce my salary based on in-office hours but not responsibilities?

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Is it legal for my employer to reduce my salary based on in-office hours but not responsibilities?

I’m classified as an exempt/salaried office manager. Small office of 2 owners and 3 other employees, who report to me. However, I have to consult the owners for any business decisions, including the final word on hiring and firing. All tools needed to complete the work are accessible online, so we have the ability to work from home but the owners want everyone to work in the office. When the office is closed, any after-hour calls are forwarded to my phone and I receive a $25/mo stipend for my personal phone bill. In addition, it’s my responsibility to monitor email after-hours for emergencies. For the first 4 years of employment, I worked in the office 40 hours/week. Due to a family situation, I received permission months ago to reduce my time in the office to 30 hours/week. I now come in 1 hour later and leave 1 hour earlier each day. The owners reduced my salary based on the 10 hour/week difference. However, my responsibilities have not changed and I’m expected to work from home to ensure my work is done, in addition to answering any after-hour calls and

monitoring emails. Basically, I’m on call 24/7 but because I’m not sitting at my desk inside the office, the owners reduced my salary. Is this legal?

Asked on June 18, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Yes, it is legal if you do not have a written employment contract guarantying or locking in your salary. When there is no contract, you are an "employee at will" and an employer may reduce an employee at will's salary at any time for any reason, such as for being allowed to work partly at home. They could even have reduced your salary if nothing at all changed except for the fact that they wanted to pay you less.


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