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Employment Law/retroactive pay reduction


James Owen, Esq. wrote at 2013-02-28 16:11:37

As an employment law attorney and as Director of Human Resources for a PEO, I read through this thread and I have to tell you that you aren't quite right, at least according to KY Law.   I actually came upon the following Kentucky Revised Statute and then called and verified with the General Counsel for the Kentucky Labor Cabinet that I was interpreting the statute correctly, which he agreed I was.   The following is from KRS 337.060, which reads in pertinent part:

Unlawful for employer to withhold wages -- Exceptions -- Specified

deductions from wages prohibited.

(1) No employer shall withhold from any employee any part of the wage agreed upon.

Thus, at least in Kentucky you cannot retroactively pay an employee less than the agreed upon rate you have established with that employee (which would include minimum wage when applicable).  Can you tell an employee you are cutting their pay effective immediately?  Sure, but you absolutely cannot pay them less than what they were previously earning without notice.  

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Margaret M. deMarteleire


I can answer most questions about employment law, federal or state. I am an attorney, not an HR professional, so questions about HR careers, coursework, prospects, etc. are not within my scope.


Attorney for 20 years, currently working exclusively with employment law - FLSA, FMLA, federal contracts, pay, etc.

Temple University School of Liberal Arts, BA, Rhetoric & Communication, 1982 Temple University School of Law, JD, 1990 Certificate in HR, Cornell University ILR School, 2006

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