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My employer deducted 30 minutes from my paycheck for each…

Hi my employer deducted...

Hi my employer deducted 30 minutes from my paycheck for each day where I did not take a lunch break. The company recommends that we take 30 min. lunch break however I had advised my employer that I could not take a 30 min lunch break on those days on account of a heavy workload and tight deadlines. Moreover I don't know if it makes a difference but I am a contract employee

Lawyer's Assistant: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

Texas

Lawyer's Assistant: Is the employment agreement "at will," union, full time or part time?

At will

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

My employer has also decided to pay employees 25% less than their regular rate if they are working from home. This applies to full-time (exempt and non-exempt ) as well as contract employees. Is it legal?

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Answered in 5 minutes by:
3/11/2018
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 10,297
Experience: Licensed to practice before state and federal court
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Hello! I am a licensed attorney, admitted to practice in state and federal court. I have a nearly 100% satisfaction rating (click here for more info) so all that means is that you can count on me to help today. Because I want to provide you with the most accurate answer possible, do you mind if I take a moment to review your question?

Please keep in mind that our conversation does not include an attorney-client relationship and this is for general information purposes only.

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Thanks so much for your patience. You may have a case of wage theft on your hands. Under TX law, employers are required to pay employees for all hours worked. An employer may deduct pay for things like insurance, taxes, or union dues; however, they cannot deduct for time that an employee worked. In your case, if you did not take a lunch break, but worked over that time, and the employer still deducted the money, then you may need to contact the Texas Workforce Commission to recoup your money. The law would require the employer to institute those unpaid breaks as a mandatory action and the law even allows an employer to terminate someone if they don' take a mandatory break, but if the employee works over that time, then they are to be paid.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Thank you this is very helpful. How long do I have to file? Also with regards ***** ***** other issue I have mentioned can my employer unilaterally decide to pay employees 25% less if they are working from home? It has happened to me on multiple occasions lately. One of them being a major freeze which shut down most of the city and city officials advised people to stay home.

You're welcome. There's usually no time limit, but I would file immediately. An employer sadly can decide to pay employees less if they are working from home, but they must have some policy that states they have the authority to do that. If not, then this is just an arbitrary decision to deduct pay and this should be an additional complaint you should add into your other issue with deductions.

Did you have any other questions for me today?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
My employment contract does not have any provision regarding being paid at a lower rate and neither does he employee handbook I was provided and required to sign. My employer just recently sent out a memo stating they would be paying less if working from home because they feel one does not provide the same quality of work if working from home.

I see what you mean. If that is the case, they seem to be taking money from you without any legal reason to do so. It's probably time you assert your rights. How else can I help you today?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
That answers all of my questions. Thank you for your assistance.

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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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