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Employment Law/Written notice of pay changes/reduction


I work in a dental office that officially switched owners September 2012. During our first meeting that month I was shocked that no office manual had been prepared & until now me & my coworkers are still waiting for a copy. The next week when we were paid we all noticed a reduced hourly rate for our hour long meeting. For me it was only a few dollars less, but for the hygienists it was half their regular rate.Also, our overtime pay was recalculated from being paid for time over 9 hours, now to time over 10 hours. Are California employers required by law to notify employees for changes in pay?

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.

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Shirley McAllister, CPP, PHR


I can answer questions about payroll laws and payroll tax laws and Human Resource laws and agencies. I can answer federal payroll and human resource law questions and most states; I do not have a knowledge of the local taxes for cities and counties within the state. If and when I can I will try and send you the website where you can reference the answer and where you can obtain more information as well as a contact number if needed for that particular agency. Some agencies I have worked with are IRS, Department of Labor (federal and state), Revenue Canada (and provincial governments), Inland Revenue, OSHA (0ccupational Safety and Health Administration); Social Security Administration and National Child Support as well as other agencies in Payroll and Human Resources. Some Laws I am particularly familiar with are FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act), ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act), FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Reconciliation Act ) , QDRO's, QMCSO's, and other support orders and garnishments, USERRA (Uniformed Services Employment and Remployment Rights Act,PPA Act (Pension Protection Act of 2006, As well as most other employment type acts. I am also well versed in the Title V Civil Rights Act and the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act).


30 years in Payroll and Human Resources

SHRM (Society of Human Resources) APA (American Payroll Association) DOLEA (Department of Labor Employers Association) CPA (Canadian Payroll Association) NAPW (National Association of Professional Women) The Mentoring Network

PHR Certification in Human Resources CPP Certification in Payroll in U.S. Payroll Administrator and Payroll Supervisor certification in Canada

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