What is the law regarding your pay when going from hourly ro salary?

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What is the law regarding your pay when going from hourly ro salary?

I have been an hourly employee at my company for 5 1/2 years. I was selected 2 years ago to work on an executive project with a new job title. I made a request recently to be moved from hourly to salary as I was the only hourly employee and wanted the freedom of overtime without approval. I have now been put on salary at a significantly lower gross pay then I was making at both my previous position and the past 2 years in my current position. Is this legal??

Asked on September 16, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Washington


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

It is completely legal. Unless you had a written employment contract guarantying you a certain compensation, your pay was 100% under your employer's control. (That is part of being an "employee at will," which all employees are in this country unless they have an employment contract.) The employer can change how you are paid, or raise or lower what you are paid, at will. Therefore, your pay can do down when you go from hourly to salary. In fact that's not uncommon: I have a friend who is an engineer with a masters who resisted being promoted to management because he made more as an hourly line employee.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption