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Ask Ely Your Own Question
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 102140
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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My employer is switching from similar monthly pay on 2nd and

Customer Question

my employer is switching from similar monthly pay on 2nd and 17th of the month to biweekly pay every other Friday. the exempt employees receivedour last check for 2015 on December 17 which would be a full years pay 24 pay checks if we worked a full year. we also received a letter stating we would get our first of 26 pay checks for 2016 on January 8, 2016. They are paying the first check at the rate of annual salary decided by 26 but I believe the first check had to be at the old rate of annual salary devided by 24 because the first check of the year is covering the last part of 2015 December 11 through January 1. Won't people, particularly those who started with the company in 2015 be shorted otherwise?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note:This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

I am sorry to hear about this situation. Can you please tell me:

1) Do you have a contract that guarantees a certain pay rate per month/year?

2) What state is this in?

This is not an answer, but an information request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
this is in fairfield California. all exempt employee letters speak to an annual salary. there's no employment contract
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

Thank you. When you say "all exempt employee letters speak to an annual salary," what does that mean? Does this mean that the employee letter promises each individual exempt employee a certain salary? Meaning for example the letter to you promises $50k per year, guaranteed?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
actually I just checked mine and another exempt employee and the wording is "starting salary will be "X" dollars per month and paid on a simi monthly basis of the 2nd and 17th"
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

Thank you. I am sorry, I did not see your last reply until now for some reason!

Then technically, this letter can be binding unto the employer. As such, if they are switching their pay periods (this itself is not such a big deal), but if doing so causes a loss of money, then this is actionable. The problem herein however is that if one speaks to the employer about this and objects, the employer can react negatively with termination, employment sanction, demotion, etc. Technically, this would be unlawful - an employee cannot have a negative action against them for enforcing their pay. This would be unlawful termination based on public policy doctrine.

The problem is whether or not the employee wishes to open up this can of worms. They can stay silent, or go to the employer and ask nicely, or, go to the employer and demand. If the employer reacts badly and sanctions the employee, the employee can sue as explained above, but whether or not they want to do this is up to them.

I hope this helps and clarifies. Please use the SEND or REPLY button to keep chatting, or please RATE when finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating. Kindly rate my answer as one of TOP THREE FACES/STARS and then SUBMIT, as this is how experts get credit for our time. Rating my answer the bottom two faces/stars (or failing to submit the rating) does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith with a positive rating.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I think perhaps this is an accounting question We are not looking at legal I just think they don't recognize that there is an amount that is lost for a person that started in 2015 or someone who started earlier who had a salary change. the only way it works out with no additional money is if the person had the same salary and started before 2015
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
is my thinking correct
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

Well, this can be both under accounting and legal.

In accounting, the accountant can tell you how the the income would be received, when, etc, and how it would affect taxes.

A legal expert can tell you what the employee's rights are under the employer's modification.

You asked this in legal, so I provided an answer stepped in legal doctrine. Were you seeking someone in accounting/taxes?