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  • Pay Decrease... California

    Can an employer decrease pay without notice of improvement in performance?

  • #2
    Yes and no. CA requires advance notice, but the notice does not any particular form. So lets say Bob normally get paid $1K/week, and I decide that Bob is not worth $1K/week. It is perfectly legal for me to make the change on a go forward basis as long as I tell Bob. It is not legal for me to make the change retroactively. If I fail to tell Bob, then the "notification" is when Bob discovers the change. Meaning pretty dumb action on my part. Smart CA employers will tell the employee in writing, not because it is required, but because it provides evidence of when the notification occurs. If you want something more authoritative, download a copy of the manual. The issue is briefly discussed somewhere in that manual.
    http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/Manual-Instructions.htm

    Past that point, minimum wage ($8/hr for non-exempt) and $640/wk for most Exempt Salaried limits apply.

    ======

    While the above is CA specific, it is mostly applicable in the rest of the states. Give the employee written notice prior to making the rate change effective, and with exception of a very few states with tougher rules, that will do it. And even if the state lacks specific rules requiring formal notification, you can also draw a judge who remembers that this is the old Common Law rule, and could just use that as a reason for the ruling.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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    • #3
      I read the question slightly differently (due to the absence of punctuation) so just for the record, it is legal to decrease pay because of performance issues, without notifying the employee that his performance is not to standard.
      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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