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Can your boss cut your pay?

You get a job making $50 per hour. After two years on the job, instead of getting a raise, they tell you they want to cut your pay down to $25 per hour. It's a massive blow for you to absorb, and you may find yourself wondering if it's even legal.

Is is, as long as it's done properly. Your company isn't obligated to pay you your current wage, in most cases, and can move it up or down as they choose.

When it becomes illegal is when the pay cut is hidden from you and you're never notified. You have to agree to take the cut and do the work at the lower rate, or you have to be given the option to quit.

For instance, one worker had a job as a dental hygienist at $28 an hour. It was part time, though, and the worker got another full-time job. To be nice, the hygienist told his or her boss about the new job in advance.

To the hygienist's complete surprise, the next paycheck was substantially lower. The pay had been cut from $28 per hour to a mere $8 per hour. The hygienist had never been notified and had put in 47 hours at $8 per hour.

That was illegal. If the hygienist had known that the employer wanted to lower the rate -- whether it was a retaliation for quitting or not -- notice had to be given. The hygienist may have just quit and started the new job 47 work hours sooner.

Do you think your company violated your rights when changing your pay? If so, you need to know about all of the legal options that you have.

Source: The Balance, "Can the Employer Legally Cut an Employee's Pay?," Suzanne Lucas, accessed June 01, 2017

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