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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 30168
Experience:  Former judicial law clerk, lawyer
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I have a question. I was paid on my first paycheck 13.15.

Customer Question

Hi, yes I have a question. I was paid on my first paycheck 13.15. The next paycheck I was paid 11.75, without being notified. No written paper, no e-mail, no verbal communication. I believe that this is illegal. I am looking for a pro bono lawyer in the Williamsburg, VA or Hampton roads area in Virginia. Can you help me?
JA: Is the employment agreement "at will," union, full time or part time?
Customer: What does at will mean? I am supposed to be part time, but I am currently getting full time hours
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 10 months ago.


I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today.

It is illegal for an employer to lower an employee's wages retroactively. They can reduce your hourly pay, but only if they tell you and you agree before the hours are worked. The employer needs to pay you the amount you're owed, plus 8% interest. Code of Virginia, Section 40.1-29.

You have the ability to file a wage claim with the state of Virginia, and they will look into collecting the wages for you. There is no cost for that.

If you'd prefer your own lawyer, this site has a list of resources that may help:

If you have any questions or concerns about my response, please reply WITHOUT RATING. It's important that you are 100% satisfied with my courtesy and professionalism. Otherwise, please rate my service positively so I am paid for the time I spend answering questions. If you are on a mobile device, you may need to scroll to the right. There is no charge for follow-up questions. Thank you.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
What does retroactively mean? Ok so, when I got hired, I signed a paper saying wages were 11.75. But, when I got my first paycheck it said 13.15. So I assumed that maybe they wanted to give me more money due to my years of experience. Then my second paycheck said 11.75. I asked HR after the paycheck, she said she made a mistake. But, I was never notified of the change. So can I file a statement of claim for unpaid wages?
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 10 months ago.

Retroactively means they can't go back in time to reduce your pay for hours you've already worked. However, if you agreed to work for $11.75, and they accidentally overpaid you, that doesn't create an ongoing obligation to pay more. To win, you'd need an agreement that they were always going to pay you the higher wage. The company could actually go after you for a reimbursement of the overpaid amount if you filed a wage claim or tried to sue them, and they'd probably win.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Ok thank you
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 10 months ago.

You're welcome. Have a good day.

Please rate my answer positively to ensure I get paid for the time I spend answering questions. If you are on a mobile device, you may need to scroll to the right. Thank you.

Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 10 months ago.

Did you have any other questions about this?