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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
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In VA can an employer change an employees pay from 19 and

Customer Question

in VA can an employer change an employees pay from 19 and hour to 15 an hour without notifying the employee that his check on fri will reflect this?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hello and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. My name is ***** ***** I will do everything I can to answer your question.

In VA, employment is "at will" absent an express agreement to the contrary. At will employment can be terminated or modified for any reason not amounting to discrimination on the basis of a legally protected trait (race, religion, gender, etc.) or retaliation for engaging in certain forms of legally protected conduct (filing a wage claim, taking FMLA leave, etc.). It doesn't matter whether the basis for termination/modification is fair, reasonable or even true.

This means that an employer can change an employee's rate of pay at any time, barring an agreement guaranteeing the previous rate for a set duration in which case there would be an exception to the doctrine of at will employment. However, the big caveat to this is that an employer cannot reduce an employee's rate of pay without first informing the employee of the reduction. The employee can be informed in writing or verbally, but the key is that the news is delivered to them that they are going to be paid less. An employer cannot reduce an employee's rate of pay until this happens. If they could reduce an employee's rate of pay without telling them, then employees would be deprived of any meaningful choice whether they want to work for amount the employer is willing to pay. The law does not work that way. The employee must be informed of any paycut before it occurs.

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