What are my rights regarding a salary reduction?

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What are my rights regarding a salary reduction?

I moved from one department to another dept 2 years ago. Old salary grade was higher than new job but was allowed to keep grade. Just reduced my grade to match job but also reduced my pay significantly even though salary did fall within lower grade structure. Can this be done?

Asked on December 8, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Maryland


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, your employer can almost certainly to this. Employers have almost total discretion to set compensation for their employees and to change compensation--including reducing salaries or wages--at will. The only exceptions would be:

1) If there is an employment contract, including a union agreement, to the contrary

2) In a government position, civil service rules might bar this

3) If the reduction is discrimination against an employee due to his or her race, religion, sex, age over 40, or disability (under federal law; some states add additional protected categories)

4) If the reduction is retaliation for having filed a protected claim, such as for overtime, FMLA leave, or that there had been discrimination

Otherwise, your employer may reduce your salary.

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.

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