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2 pay Questions here for Texas

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  • 2 pay Questions here for Texas

    First, my son started working for a company on October 8th, and that pay period ended on October 11th, he worked that Thurs, Fri & Sun. On Fri, Oct 23rd, some employees were handed their checks, so my son asked for his, only to be told he doesn't have one for 2 more weeks because their payroll is messed up and behind. It does NOT make sense to me, and I know it's only for 3 days, but shouldn't he have been paid? please anyone that may know, answer this question for me. I don't want him working for a company that is not paying their employees.

    Secondly, my daughters husband wants to know if employers can make a hourly pay decrease on his paychecks, without reason, or explanation. He was making $13.50 an hour and now was cut to $12.50 an hour. once again, without any notice or explanation given. this also is in TX.

    Any help or advice is welcome and very much needed on these 2 questions.

  • #2
    Of course he should have been paid. Realistically, however, by the time any claim filed with the TWC for unpaid wages would get to investigatory stage, the next payroll would have come and gone and he would have the back pay.

    Regarding pay cuts, generally speaking, those are legal going forward, not retroactively. Notice must be provided before hours are worked at the decreased rate. Having said that, I could not find a specific statute in the Texas Labor Code that says this. However, a claim could be filed with the TWC for the difference in wages for hours worked up until the time the notification was given (in this case, receipt of the paycheck). Maybe it works and maybe it doesn't.
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    • #3
      Or small claims court for that matter. There are several types of law. "Statutory" law means actual laws passed by legislatures. "Regulatory" law means regulations passed by government administrators empowered to do so by the legislature. Then there is "common law", which basically means hundreds of years of court decisions and accepted practice. If we do things long enough without someone passing a law against it, the practice tends to pick up a certain legal acceptance under "common law". Even if there is no very specific law that say that the employer must give notice in a specific form prior to making a change in compensation rates, most states would consider there to be some type of common law requirement. However, most states would also say that finding your rate change on your check would constitutes the notification, at least on a go forward basis, so we are at most talking about the time work with an expectation of being paid at a different rate. At what point the employee finds out about the new rate, and keeps working, that would generally be considered "acceptance" under common law. There is not specific "form of notification" under common law.

      This is all part of the larger common law principal of Employment-At-Will.

      So basically, what Patty just said. File the claim. It works or it does not.
      "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
      Philip K. **** (1928-1982)