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decrease in wage California

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  • decrease in wage California

    Hello,
    I have a question and am seeking an answer, I thought maybe you guys could help. I was working for a small time contractor who's business wasn't doing to well, he asked me and his other employee to work for a few hours a day unpaid to "help out". When I told him that I needed to get paid for the time that I worked, he told me that he would be decreasing my pay from $15 an hour to $10 an hour. When I first started working for him it was understood that the minimum I would be able to work for him was $15 an hour to be able to pay my bills. This seemed like an unacceptable percentage decrease 33% ! I told him that I could not accept this "new" offer for employment and we parted ways. I'm in California an have been collecting unemployment insurance benefits. He has since written a letter to the EDD stating that I quit. I need to know where I stand on this and what I should do, where I should go from here. Any advice on this matter would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you very much,
    Tony

  • #2
    Short of an enforceable employment contract requiring a certain hourly rate, the decrease was legal. I understand it was a large decrease, but generally speaking, if you quit, your forfeit your eligibility for UI benefits. What you should have done was continue to work and file for partial benefits. I'm not sure if California law provides for that, but the state would rather you have some income than no income. I think you're facing an uphill battle to get benefits.
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    • #3
      Originally posted by tony.mazzei View Post
      Hello,
      I have a question and am seeking an answer, I thought maybe you guys could help. I was working for a small time contractor who's business wasn't doing to well, he asked me and his other employee to work for a few hours a day unpaid to "help out". When I told him that I needed to get paid for the time that I worked, he told me that he would be decreasing my pay from $15 an hour to $10 an hour. When I first started working for him it was understood that the minimum I would be able to work for him was $15 an hour to be able to pay my bills. This seemed like an unacceptable percentage decrease 33% ! I told him that I could not accept this "new" offer for employment and we parted ways. I'm in California an have been collecting unemployment insurance benefits. He has since written a letter to the EDD stating that I quit. I need to know where I stand on this and what I should do, where I should go from here. Any advice on this matter would be greatly appreciated.

      Thank you very much,
      Tony
      First off, if you worked for any hrs. for no pay or any hrs. at the new rate before you were notified of the reduction, you can file a wage claim with the Ca DLSE. I assume you didn't have a binding employment contract guaranteeing $15.00 an hr. min.

      You noted you told your employer that you could not work for the lower rate & parted ways. This could be taken that you quit. You don't get UI when you quit. The unemployment ins. people prefer that you have some income as opposed to quitting & having none. In many states you can get partial UI for a significant reduction in pay. If your UI benefits are stopped due to being told you quit, all you can do is appeal. During the appeal, all you can do is tell the truth & explain the situation/give your side of the story. The state will decide if you get benefits or not.
      Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

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