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Can an Employer Lower Your Wages

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  • Can an Employer Lower Your Wages

    Can an Employer offer you your same position you are currently in and lower your wages by almost 2.00 per hour to give you medical benefits? This seems rather hokie to me. My daughter was told that they would offer her the same position she is doing but it falls under a different catagory where she works. Then they can offer her medical and dental benefits by lowering her pay by 2.00 per hour. Is this legal? What recourse do we have. She has not signed anything, but she is young and does not know her rights.
    Thank you,

  • #2
    Short of a bona fide, enforceable contract that prohibits the lowering of her wage, yes they can. Actually, it is not that uncommon for employees who are not eligible for benefits to be paid a higher hourly rate than those who are. Just for curiosity's sake, did her status change from ineligible for benefits to a status where she is now eligible? Or has she always been eligible and just waived her insurance up to now?
    I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.


    • #3
      There is no law prohibiting an employer from lowering your wages.

      I can think of two different possibilities here. Both are legal.

      One is that it's simply financial. The employer cannot afford to pay her the same rate he's been paying her and pay for benefits too. The other is that she did not fully understand what he meant and that he's referring to subtracting her portion of the insurance premium pre-tax, which has the effect of lowering her taxable income and actually works to her benefit.

      But either way, the employer is not violating any laws. Unless she has a bona fide contract that guarantees her a particular rate, the employer may lower her wage if he finds it necessary. Under the law, she only needs to be paid minimum wage. Anything over and above that is legal.
      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.


      • #4

        She never waived insurance. This is a hospital. What they have done is hired her at 30 hours per week @ 12.15 per hour to keep her from getting insurance. I understand that. But, now they are offering her the same position @ 30 hours per week @ 10.15 per hour to do the same job and renaming the job for their convenience. With the renaming of the position they are telling her they will have to lower her wages by 2.00 per hour and she is then eligible for medical and dental benefits. There was an agreement of her wage when she started, but never did they tell her about a wage reduction for medical and dental benefits down the road. They just told her after 90 days she would be eligible for benefits. This has now changed. As far as them not being able to afford the wages and medical and dental this is not the case. Also, there is not a misunderstanding about pre-tax reduction or anything close to that. Others are making the 12.15 per hour and getting full medical and Dental Benefits. It is all political it seems to me. Please help. Thanks,
        Last edited by charmedone; 02-18-2006, 09:30 AM.