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reduction in wage

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  • reduction in wage

    Iowa; I have been trying without much luck to find out the law on reducing ones wages after a year and a half of employment. My son has worked for Sears for about 1 1/2 years at 6.00/hr plus commision. Now all of the sudden, he gets an email telling him that he has been paid wrong and that they are now reducing his wage by .50 cents an hour. Can they do that after a year and a half?

  • #2
    Yes, an employer can reduce wages. It cannot do it retroactively, but it's legal to announce that wages will be reduced going forward.
    I am not able to respond to private messages. Thanks!


    • #3
      Most states do have laws regarding retroactive pay decreases, but some are silent on the issue. What state?
      I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.


      • #4
        I saw this post in the Iowa forum, so now I know what state. I searched the Iowa Labor Code, and the law is silent on this issue.

        Having said that, if the employer is trying to recover an actual mistake, this may not be illegal. I would recommend the employee contact the state Labor Services Division of the Iowa Workforce Dept. and inquire about this particular situation.
        I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.


        • #5
          The only thing your son is entitled to by law is minimum wage. Nothing in the law prohibits an employer from lowering wages, as long as they do not go below minimum wage and as long as they follow whatever laws, if any, your state has regarding notification.

          This presumes that your son does not have a bona fide, enforceable contract guaranteeing a wage. An offer letter is not a contract.
          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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