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JB Umphrey
JB Umphrey, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 20233
Experience:  Assisting employees and employers for over 14 years.
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Im doing my job well. In 2012 my pay was not frozen but I

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I'm doing my job well. In 2012 my pay was not frozen but I was 2.5% bouns. this year I had a good review, but my pay was droped by 6%. they said it was to bring me inline with what others were doing as a design Eng. I've worked at this company for 33 years. The owner of this company upgraded my pay years ago He past away two years ago Now i have to take a pay cut or walk
Welcome and thank you for your question!

I am sorry to learn of the facts that you've described but I commend you for being with the same employer for 33 years. That is incredible!

It would be most helpful to me if you could please clarify: what is your actual question that you would like assistance with, given the ultimatum they have presented you with?

I look forward to your reply.

~~ J.B.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Can they just do that with me doing well in my work. I was 6% above everyone because I was there before everyone I work with. I am black and I am 62 years old. It makes me wonder. I have never played the race card in my life.

Well, there is something else we have to sort out, first. Do you already have a written contract with them that says they must pay you differently?

Do you have a written contract with them which says that they can only fire you for just cause?

I am not asking about a written employee handbook. Instead, I want to know if you have a signed contract with them. Most employees do not but I don't want to assume.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

No there is no written contract.

Thank you. That would mean then that you are an at-will employee? What is your understanding of what it means to be an at-will employee?

Separately, you mentioned race. What proof do you have that they are cutting your pay BECAUSE OF your race? And why didn't they discriminate against you on the basis of race during the last 33 years that you've worked there? Do you have such proof or are you just speculating? Is it possible that they're being cheap?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes I feel they are being cheap. No there is no proof it is because of race. There is no proof it is because of age. I think it's because I was hired by J. Martin the owner and we were close. As long as he was alive no one could fire me but him. It seems there is nothing I can do but take the cut or walk.

Thank you. I think you are right.

In Illinois, "a noncontracted employee is one who serves at the employer's will, and the employer may discharge such an employee for any reason or no reason." Zimmerman v. Buchheit of Sparta, Inc., 164 Ill.2d 29, 32, 206 Ill.Dec. 625, 645 N.E.2d 877 (1994); accord Fellhauer v. City of Geneva, 142 Ill.2d 495, 505, 154 Ill.Dec. 649, 568 N.E.2d 870 (1991) (stating this court's adherence to rule that employer may discharge at-will employee for any or no reason); Price v. Carmack Datsun, Inc., 109 Ill.2d 65, 67, 92 Ill.Dec. 548, 485 N.E.2d 359 (1985) (stating "accepted general rule" that "in an employment at will there is no limitation on the right of an employer to discharge an employee").

It may be unfair -- I totally understand. There may have been a breach of trust; a sense of being misled. I understand. However, from the legal context, the employer's actions are legal. When there's no contract, the wages can go up and they can do down. It's a take it or leave it proposition. Unfair, yes. Legal .... afraid so.

My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back. I am happy to address follow-up questions. Thank you for your business!

~~ J.B.
JB Umphrey and 2 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
I see where you read my answer but not where you asked a follow up question or rated my effort to assist you with the law as it relates to your issue. The Site has been having some major systems issues recently so we are not always receiving customer replies or ratings.

If you do have a follow up for me, if you could send it again and let me know this is your second try (so I can let the Site administrators know), I would appreciate it.

Otherwise, if I have answered all of your questions, please take brief moment to rate my assistance to you so that I can receive credit for my work.

Thank you in advance.

~~ J.B.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I thank You for your help. I just want to sure of how I should handel this. I gave you the Highest rating.

You are most welcome and THANK YOU! I wish you the best!

~~ J.B.