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Wages Reduced Without Notification in Oregon Oregon

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  • Wages Reduced Without Notification in Oregon Oregon

    My husband went back to work recently as a finish carpenter after being retired for a time. He was told he would be paid "$160/day for an 8 hour day 5 days a week." He would be paid twice a month. On his first day, which fell on the last day of the pay period, he was paid $160 for one day's work.

    After receiving his second check he could not make sense of the amount he was paid, so he asked his employer about it. His employer said he had reduced my husband's rate of pay because after being out of the workforce so long, he was not producing what he should be. This was the first that my husband knew of that his pay had been reduced. Days that he thought he was being paid $160/day he was actually working for $120 or $130 dollars a day, depending on what his employer felt he should be paid. His employer then told him that he now felt my husband was up to speed and raised his pay back to $160/day.

    Other things you should know include that no withholding is taken from my husband's check. He is responsible for paying his own taxes out of his gross pay. Also, his employer requires him to work overtime, but says because my husband is salaried; he doesn't receive any additional pay.

    We are a bit baffled. Can he reduce my husband's pay like that without notifying him of the new rate? Is it true that he doesn't owe my husband for any required overtime?
    Last edited by TJinOR; 06-09-2006, 10:55 AM. Reason: Duplicate wording

  • #2
    This is really all going to boil down to whether or not he really should be classified as an employee. If he truly is a independent contractor, then the terms of his employment would be included therein, including rate of pay. If he doesn't qualify as an IC, he is an employee (no matter what the employer calls him or the fact that he has missclassified him) and he is eligible for overtime. See here and then post back your thoughts.
    I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.


    • #3
      Thank you for responding so quickly. I read over the material and tried to answer based on my understanding of the criteria. Here are those details:

      My husband is not licensed, nor is he responsible for the licenses.
      He works under his employer's bond.
      He has no right to hire or fire.
      He does not have his own business or business location.
      He does, however, provide his own tools.
      He doesn't bear any risk of loss, and is paid for the day whether the work is finished or not.
      He is paid every two weeks regardless of whether the houses are finished yet or not.
      If there is a penalty for failure to meet a deadline, it is the responsibility of his employer.
      He doesn't advertise, or market his services.
      He doesn't work for anyone other than his employer.
      He works 8 hours a day, at least, but does have the some flexibility as to the time in the morning that he starts work depending on the amount of daylight and location.


      • #4
        That's an employee. And dare I say that, by misclassifying your husband as an IC (either wilfully or intentionally), this company would be in violation of IRS regulations, state tax laws, Dept. of Labor laws (state and federal), probably state Work Comp requirements, Customs and Immigration Laws (failure to verify employment eligibility, I'll bet) and who knows what else.

        Accordingly, he should file a claim with the state Dept. of Labor for failure to pay overtime (when he's worked more than 40 hours in a workweek) as well as asking the DOL about whether prenotification of a pay decrease is required; my resource doesn't state one way or the other.
        I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.


        • #5
          Thank you very much!


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