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RobertJDFL, Attorney
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Can a salaried exempt employees salary be reduced without

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Can a salaried exempt employee's salary be reduced without prior notice or consent by employee
Thank you for your question.

No, they cannot. An employer must give an employee 24-hours notice of any reduction in the employee’s wage rate pursuant to North Carolina Stat. 95-25.13

I would suggest you contact the North Carolina Department of Labor (Wage and Hour Bureau) for assistance in this situation. They can be reached at:

N.C. Department of Labor
Wage and Hour Bureau
1101 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NCNNN-NN-NNNNbr/> (NNN) NNN-NNNNor (toll-free NC only) 1-800-NC-LABOR
Web site:
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The notice I received was 24 hours before my direct deposit was received at my bank but after the payroll was prepared. The person who notified me by phone was/is not employed at the company.


If I leave the company, would my outstanding vacation time be paid at the old or the new rate? The vacation time was as of January 1 of this year.

Thank you for your reply.

With respect to the reduction in wages, the statues don't specify that you have to be notified by anyone in particular in the company - in other words, if this person who notified you was acting at the bequest of the company or as a representative of the company when they let you know, that's okay. As for when you received notice - I think an argument exists that the wages were actually earned at the old rate, not the new rate, since they changed it right before you were paid.

As to vacation time, the employer has the right under state statute 95-25.12 to reduce your vacation pay to the new amount, so long as they follow the requirements of 95-25-13. In other words, they would have to notify you in writing at least 24 hours in advance of the change, or post in your workplace, notice that the vacation benefit was being reduced, so that you were aware of the reduction. If no such notice is given then you are not subject to loss of the higher vacation wage.

But know that even if your company has accrued vacation time, under North Carolina law, they don't have to pay you for your earned time -- if they told the employees that vacation time is lost when you leave the job. If they don't tell the employees, then they have to pay your earned vacation time when you leave. They must have the rule in the employee handbook or union contract and posted at your workplace.
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