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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 12946
Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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We had a layoff at work, I was asked to cut my salary by 50%

Customer Question

We had a layoff at work, I was asked to cut my salary by 50% after being here for 28 years
nobody else was asked to cut their salary. I'm almost 65 years old. What are my rites
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: 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.

What reason did your employer give for why they are asking this? What do you believe their true reason to be? Finally, are you in a union? I very much look forward to helping you on this matter.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
need to restructure company.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am the only sales person in the company.
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you.

In general employers have tremendous discretion with regard to how they can run their business, including how much they choose to pay their employees. This is so because employment in NY 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 or modification is fair, reasonable or even true.

So, unless you can prove that the reason you are being asked to take a paycut is because of how old you are or due to some other legally protected trait (which your post would not suggest as it appears your employer is going through large changes and is financially struggling and that if there were other employees who shares your duties they would be taking paycuts too), then you would not have any way of forcing your employer to continue employing you at your previous rate of pay.

Now, you may be able to quit and collect unemployment benefits. However, it is usually smarter to continue working and start looking for another job, then quit only once you've secured another position elsewhere. That way there is no gap on your resume.

I hope that you find this information helpful and am genuinely sorry if it is not what you were hoping to hear. Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.

If you do not require any further assistance, please be so kind as to provide a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you. Very best wishes moving forward.