My company cut my pay

Dear Evil HR Lady,

I just received a review, and my manager told me they are cutting my pay by $2.50 per hour. I am an hourly employee and I understand $1 [reduction in pay] was because a certificate has lapsed. When I asked her about the $1.50 a hour she was cutting off my pay she said, “you can’t go anywhere else around here and make what you were making,” when in fact I went on, and after being with the company for almost 10 years I was making 52 cents more per hour than the median range. Now I’ll be considerably below. I am also responsible for tasks which are not required for other employees that she deems at my same level. No other employee was required to take a pay cut. Do I have anything to go on here, or do I have to suck it up and deal with a terrible employer until I can find a better one?

To read the answer, click here: My company cut my pay

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17 thoughts on “My company cut my pay

  1. Although it is legal, doesn’t mean it’s a good idea:( What a way to show employees you care! It probably is a good idea to start looking elsewhere for a new employer that will appreciate you.

    I know things are done slightly differently here in Canada where you should give the employee notice, and it would be a good idea to present something to them to sign – to show that they are aware of the change. But if there is anything significantly different from the original employment agreement/contract (job duties, hours, wage, etc.) the employee could try to claim for ‘constructive dismissal’.

  2. Wait – OP said “after being with the company for almost 10 years I was making 52 cents more per hour than the median range. Now I’ll be considerably below.” Does that mean the company is now paying OP less than the minimum wage? If so, then (unless it’s a tipped position) it’s not legal and OP should contact the state Department of Labor.

    1. Median range refers to the median for the position. It has nothing to do with minimum wage!

      1. Oops, reading failure on my part, perhaps because I’d never heard anyone mention “median wage” before.

  3. If you haven’t already done so, start your job search and get ready to resign. Your employer has shown very clearly what value they put in you. Since I don’t know you, I’ll risk being blunt and suggest that your employer might be right about your rate of pay. Please conduct an unvarnished self-assessment and thoroughly understand your weaknesses and strengths before you interview elsewhere.

  4. Your employer feels you are not worth your pay. When my company was going through rough times they gave 1 employee a larger pay-cut than everyone else. They felt he wasn’t worth what we were paying him, but didn’t want to go to the trouble of hiring someone else. If he stayed at that pay fine, if he left that was fine too. He stuck it out because at 63 he couldn’t really start over somewhere else, so he stayed. We’ve now all received our pay back including him. He is still really bitter about the whole thing. If I were you I’d find a new job even if it is a pay-cut from what you were working. Everyone is right. Your company doesn’t value you as an employee.

  5. I would be very careful before doing anything that looks like quitting or giving them cause to actually dismiss you, before checking into any vesting of pension/benefits that might occur at the 10 year mark. The OP says that they’ve been there for nearly 10 years. That sends up a red flag to me that the company might be trying to get rid of them before some kind of payout is due. It also may be a kind of age discrimination if only the oldest/longest serving employee got docked.

    1. Yea, I noticed that “10-year mark” as well. But, it could be because I have a couple of friends who, despite working in union environments, have told me about the crazy kind of stuff (being written up for small infractions, etc.) whenever someone comes close to a milestone.

      1. And a pattern like that could be used in a very nice discrimination lawsuit. You can certainly take on an “as soon as they begin to vest the company suddenly wants to get rid of them, that’s age discrimination.”

  6. If they only cut your pay and not the human resources person pay its a human rights discrimination case grand slam look I to it call the human rights board and use it under the grounds of age .. over 40

  7. I know a guy who won a case who was discriminated and his wage was the only persons affected … and he won big time he was the only person that took a hit in wages and the human resources lady who took his wages down from downsized company profits was argued that her office duty’s weren’t applicable the company got screwed the human resource lady discriminated on her argument and the judge said too her did you take a pay cut he and she said no but but but…no buts case for plaintiff the guy was rewarded … end of story

  8. Tom- There is much more to that situation than what you’ve heard or can understand. There are no blanket actions or remedies that apply to all cases.

  9. While others made some good points, I found the certificate lapsing to be a bit of a red flag – does the failure to renew this certification indicate other performance issues with this employee?

    1. That’s an excellent point. If she let her certificate lapse, it’s likely she’s not on top of other things.

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