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Human Resources/California:Salary Reduction, Change from Exempt to Non-Exempt, Reevaluation of Job Description

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Question
I had an Annual Evaluation this past month in which I received an excellent evaluation and a 5% annual increase (the max available). I work in the private sector in a position which has changed little since I was hired under contract three years ago (in 2012). I was a consultant for this same company for over a year before I was hired on FT. This entire time I have worked out of my home instead of the office which is over three hours away from my home. This was arranged at time of hire and is noted in my hiring contract.

I was notified today by the payroll department that they have reevaluated my job description and are decreasing my salary by $18,500.00 per year and changing me from Exempt to Non-Exempt. This will take me down to less than I was hired at. Their reasoning was that I was no longer doing outside quality assurance (QA) checks on contractors.  I only provided these QA checks for a short period and it was not something that was part of my job description at any point, nor when I was hired. They also reasoned that my job does not support my salary and I am not doing all of my job description anyway. I have pulled my job description and it has not changed since my hire date.  I am currently doing over and above what my job description outlines. I am fulfilling all of my duties according to this description and my evaluations. The word by a few of the people in the office is that they are attempting to force me to resign.

Are these actions by my employer legal? This has come as a complete surprise, especially after my recent evaluation and raise. I need to know what my options are at this point.

Thank you for any information you could provide. It is appreciated.

Answer
Shannon
While I have not seen your complete position description I cannot arbitrarily give you the final answer as to whether you should be exempt or Non-exempt.
However this sounds like a load of crap.
You need to sit down with your boss and discuss this. Whether you are exempt or not is not relevant to a pay reduction.  Payroll on their own account changing your status and reducing your comp smells.
please follow up after you have spoken with your manager
Thanks
Jim

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Jim Dromsky

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I can answer questions relating to Management/Executive recruitment, retention and development. How to's relating to Organizational Development, Training, Succession planning, Management assessment and when to go outside instead of promoting from within. Additionally, questions on performance based compensation incentives, employment law, harassment, etc.

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James Dromsky is Founder and CEO of Orion Consulting, Inc. During his twenty-five year career he has conducted and managed Executive Search and Human Resources consulting engagements in the Consumer Products, Electronics/Computer, Financial Services, Information Services, Chemical, Pharmaceutical, Transportation and DOD related industries. Prior to founding Orion Consulting, Inc., Mr. Dromsky functioned as Engagement Manager and Consultant for regional and national Search and Consulting Firms. He has successfully completed Search assignments for positions including President, General Manager, Vice President Operations, Vice President Finance/CFO, Vice President Marketing/Sales, Vice President Manufacturing, Vice President Engineering, Vice President R&D, Vice President Human Resources as well as Managerial, Supervisory and Professional Direct Contributor positions in all functional areas. As President of Orion Consulting for the past 23 years, Mr. Dromsky is directly involved in and responsible for all Search and Consulting engagements. These engagements have ranged on the Search side from a single top management assignment for a start-up firm to a 75 hire multi-year reconstruction of a major appliance manufacturing concern. The Consulting engagements have ranged in scope from individual assignments such as a targeted salary survey; development and implementation of database applications for a H.R. Information System in the consulting industry; design and growth of a software development team for the information services arena to the conceptualization and installation of a complete corporate Human Resources function. Mr. Dromsky received his education in Biology and Chemistry from Rutgers, the state university of New Jersey. In addition, he has taken graduate course work at the same university in the area of Business and Marketing. Mr. Dromsky served in the U.S. Navy, which included a tour of duty in Southeast Asia.

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Mr. Dromsky received his education in Biology and Chemistry from Rutgers, the state university of New Jersey. In addition, he has taken graduate course work at the same university in the area of Business and Marketing. Mr. Dromsky served in the U.S. Navy, which included a tour of duty in Southeast Asia.

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