Can an employer lower the employee's salary? - Employment Law Questions and Answers- LawQA.com

Free Answers to your Legal Questions by Lawyers.
ask »


Can an employer lower the employee's salary?

Can an employer legally lower the salary of an employee if the employee is making costly errors and under performing?

Answer By Mark D. Keyl

Contact this Attorney Now

Yes, unless you have a written contract that guarantees a set salary.

Answer Applies to: Mississippi
Replied: 9/10/2012


Contact this Attorney Now

The answer is maybe. An employer cannot withhold pay after worker's been performed. Likewise an employer cannot withhold part of a pay check to cover expenses unless there is an agreement signed by the employee. For example, I will reimburse my employer for the cost of a long-distance telephone call. On the other hand, an employer can reduce the amount of pay going forward. For example, in the past the employee was paid $10 an hour but because of poor performance as of next week the pay rate will be lower to $8 an hour.

Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 9/6/2012

Answer By Edward M Olson

Contact this Attorney Now

Yes, it is legal. However, if you have an employment contract in place, it may be a breach of the contract. Call your attorney to be sure.

Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 9/6/2012


Contact this Attorney Now

Unless an employee has a contract with his/her employer or is a union employee, s/he can be demoted to a lower position with a lower salary for bad performance.

Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 9/5/2012


Contact this Attorney Now

Yes; with two vitally important qualifications: 1) The reduction in pay can only be prospective, not retroactive. In other words, once the money is earned, it is earned for that period; the employer may not reduce the amount. However, the employer can reduce the pay for all subsequent pay periods. 2) Even if the employer can reduce an employee's pay, the amount paid must never fall below the minimum wage; in California, the minimum wage is $8.00 per hour. 3) If the employer and employee have entered into a written employment contract, both parties must honor that contract until the contract ends, or is terminated according to the terms of the contract.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/5/2012

Answer By Bruce Coane
Coane and Associates
Contact this Attorney Now

Generally, and assuming there is no contract, yes.

Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 9/5/2012

Answer By Steven Miller

Contact this Attorney Now

Yes...........unless the employee is covered by a contract or collective bargaining agreement, the employer can reduce the employee's salary for any or even no reason. The fact that the employee made errors, makes for all the more reason for the employer to lower the wage of the employee.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/5/2012

Law Offices of Charles R. Perry
Contact this Attorney Now

In general, a decrease in salary is legal, so long as the employee is still receiving at least minimum wage.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/5/2012


Contact this Attorney Now

Yes, employer may lower pay, so long as they are still paying as much as min wage Exception would be where the employee is under written contract, but that is rare. School teachers, sports players, and entertainers are usually under contract, but most employees are not. You likely will not receive unemployment Comp if you quit for this reason Ask yourself: Is this job, with the changes, better than nothing?A new job may be the answewr to your problem. You have a better chance of finding a job while you still have a job. Good luck!

Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 9/5/2012

Answer By Michael Doland

Contact this Attorney Now

California is an at-will state, so if you are not a member of a union or do not have a written contract, you may be terminated. A lawyer cannot deduct losses from your salary, but can lower your salary as an alternative to termination.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/5/2012

© 2017 MH Sub I, LLC. All rights reserved.
Terms & Conditions | Privacy Policy | IB Cookie Policy