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Under W2, less workload = less pay? California

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  • Under W2, less workload = less pay? California

    I'm working under W2 with a Computer Systems company, 100% Home Office.

    I have a written contract with fixed amount per year, Offer letter states "You understand that you will be required to relocate, if necessary for projects and product installations and are expected to work a minimum of 40 hours per week."

    I started working 40 hours/week. But now the client has different needs and I'm required to work only 20 hours per week.

    Since I'm working from home, and the company is making less money with me, they started paying me half.

    I wonder how legal is that. I would have expected to be assigned the remaining 20 hours to another project, but the company doesn't have any other clients

    Any comment would be appreciated.

    Thanks!

  • #2
    This is going to be a matter of your contract. Since we cannot read it from here, you will need to show it to an attorney in your state.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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    • #3
      Not sure if you have a true contract or an offer letter. W-2 employees aren't generally given a contract, but it can happen. And offer letters along generally don't rise to the level of a contract even if they state an annual salary. So do take what you have to a local attorney to see if what you have is truly a contract.

      That said, if there is not a contract and just an offer letter, then the employer can generally lower pay and hours at will as long as they tell you ahead of when they change your pay and as long as they pay minimum wages/OT. "Expected to work" at hire time can be different than what happens later in an "at will" situation.

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      • #4
        "At will" cuts both ways. You can quietly start looking for a new job.
        "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
        Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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        • #5
          Originally posted by hr for me View Post
          Not sure if you have a true contract or an offer letter. W-2 employees aren't generally given a contract, but it can happen. And offer letters along generally don't rise to the level of a contract even if they state an annual salary. So do take what you have to a local attorney to see if what you have is truly a contract.

          That said, if there is not a contract and just an offer letter, then the employer can generally lower pay and hours at will as long as they tell you ahead of when they change your pay and as long as they pay minimum wages/OT. "Expected to work" at hire time can be different than what happens later in an "at will" situation.
          Thanks for the answer, I do have an "at will" contract apart of the Offer Letter, the only thing in my contract referring to this is:
          "The Employer shall pay compensation to Employee in accordance with Employer’s regular payroll practices according to the Compensation specified in the offer letter."

          I am already searching for other job, just was the question about if I can refer to CA DSLE to get the rest of my past salary that they reduced in half.

          Thanks!

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          • #6
            If the actual salary amount isn't mentioned in the contract, the DLSE may not be able to help you.

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            • #7
              I don't think you have much of a chance if that is all that is in the contract regarding guaranteed pay. Because the "employer's regular payroll practices" could very well be to pay the annual salary for 40+ hours per week but prorate it if you work less than that. I have worked a lot of flexible positions where the salary is stated for a fulltime 40+ hour per week employee but is prorated if the arrangement changed to less than 40 hours per week.

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