Does employer have to give advance notice of pay cut/change?
I was being paid $14.00/hr and receiving paid holidays. Payday was last Thursday, but my employer did not bring my paycheck. He made excuses about why it was not there but the other employees received their paychecks. I received my paycheck Monday and with it a brief note/letter stating effective 11-20-09 I was dropped to $9/hr plus a piece rate of $27.50 per job. Doesn't my employer have to give me some kind of advanced notice to drop my pay $5.00/hr? On Tuesday all the shops received a fax stating we would be closed Thursday and Friday for Thanksgiving and they are unpaid holidays.
Employers may reduce wage rates as they please at any time that they want as long as they comply with the minimum wage laws. Nevertheless, the employer is required to pay you the amount it was paying you the week before the wage change went into effect. in other words, the employer was abel to change the pay rate as it did. however, it was required to pay you at the $14/hr rate for the past week that you worked and then change the rate for the following pay period. the employer may also similarly change its policies regarding what is paid v. nonpaid holidays.
While harsh, reducing your hourly wage and eliminating your holiday pay is legal (as long as the minimum wage law is not violated). The reason is that most employment relationships are what is known as "at will". This means that basically the employer can hire or fire someone for any reason or no reason whatsoever, as well has increase/decrease salary/hours, promote/demote, and generally impose requirements and change benefits as they see fit. In turn, you can work for an employer, or not, your choice.
The only exceptions to the above would be if there is a stated company policy covering this, or there is a union/employment agreement that governs, or this situation has arisen due to some type of discrimination.
However, the above only applies to your pay going forward. Any hours that you worked prior to your notice (the note) should be paid at your old rate. There can be no reduction of pay retroactively. This is illegal.