Employment Law Questions? Ask an Employment Lawyer.
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:
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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.
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