Employee feels like pay cut is "slap in the face"

Employee feels like pay cut is

Employee feels like pay cut is "slap in the face"

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by Rozanne "Roze" Worrell

WVEC.com

Posted on January 31, 2012 at 4:11 PM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 1 at 10:50 AM

Dear Roze:

I'm having a bit of an issue at my work.  I told my boss and the owners of the restaurant about a month ago about my big plans to leave this area and settle down in a state where they don’t have a franchise.  As a manager, I felt I should give more than a two-week notice.  They found a replacement and have had him training with my boss to eventually take my place.  That didn't bother me.  What does bother me is the change that came in my last paycheck, and I'm anticipating it will be the same with the next one.  They reduced my pay from a set salary amount to an hourly amount in no way comparable to my position.  It’s actually less than some of what the regular line workers make.  I could even be okay with a reduction, but this is like a slap in the face!

My dad is furious and says it’s illegal for them to reduce my pay simply because I'm moving.  My boss mentioned the situation to me briefly about a week ago; that they (the owners) wanted to move forward with having my replacement take over, but neither of them or my boss had a discussion with me about reducing my pay.  Is my dad right?  Is this illegal?  If so, what can/should I do about it?  I don't have another job lined up, so while I've been very good at saving my money, I don't want to be deprived of money that is rightfully mine.

For the most part, all these guys have been good to me.  I don't want to burn bridges if it's unnecessary, but it upsets me to think they might be simply acting out of greed, especially since I've been a good employee.

Slapped in the face

Dear Slapped in the face:

I contacted attorney Gregory A. Giordano to assist me with your issue.  He specializes in employment law in Hampton Roads, VA. He provided the following response:

Since she is an at will employee working without a contract, the employer could terminate her for any reason, as long as it is not an illegal reason.  In all 50 states, federal law makes it illegal to discriminate based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions), disability, age (40 and older), citizenship status, and genetic information.  And since he could terminate her at any time, the employer could also reduce her salary at any time.  It’s not fair, but it’s legal!

Even though the owners did not do anything illegal by reducing your pay, it could not hurt for you to have a talk with them in person or at least over the phone before you leave town.  Calmly, and respectfully explain to them that you gave them more than a two-week notice because you wanted to help them out in any way you could before you moved on, and you found the unannounced reduction in your pay unfair, demoralizing, and to use your words, “a slap in the face.”  Even if they choose not to make any changes to your reduced compensation, hopefully, they will think twice before doing such a thing to another loyal employee or at least have the decency to give advance notice to the employee that his/her pay will be reduced. 

Best of luck in your future endeavors!

Dear Roze:

I’m really angry.  I work in a small company.  We just got a new President and I’m one of his four managers.  The other three managers work days, but he has me doing shift work like the direct reports.  When I asked him about this, he said he wants someone from management working nights so customers have the ability to talk to a supervisor if they ask for one.  His defense makes no sense because my night shift week only comes around once a month.  When I tried to ask him about his logic, he shut me down.  It makes no sense.  I’m beginning to think this is personal.  Do you think I’m right?  How do I get off this shift work?

Shafted with shift work

Dear Shafted with shift work:

The President’s actions do not make sense.  I understand why you would think his actions towards you are “personal,” especially if the two of you have a history with each other.  It would make a lot more sense if all the managers were expected to take a night shift.  That being said, I suggest you do your job and do it exceptionally well, and then readdress the issue at your next performance evaluation.

On a side note, I applaud you for having gone directly to the President to address the issue.

Hang in there and best of luck!

© 2012 Rozanne R. Worrell
 

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