Can a company decide to change your pay going back months?
October 18, 2011 10:45 AM   Subscribe

If an employer makes a change to your compensation, how far back can they deduct money? What is the best way to get what I think I am owed?

So, I work for Company A, who is subcontracted to Company B, who in turn works for Company C. Part of the compensation that I agreed to when I took this job was a per diem. All employees of Company A received the same per diem amount. On September 30th, We were told that per diems were no longer going to be paid to us going back to September 1st. This has since been amended to August 12. Company A is claiming that Company B rejected all per diem expenses on the September invoice and therefore they couldn't pay us for them. Company B is saying that they rejected them because Company C rejected them.

At the end of the day, I don't really care who is rejecting expenses or why.....I just want my money. The total amount I will lose is approximately $1200+. I know YANAL, etc but how do I find out if this is even legal? What is the best way to move towards getting my money? A strongly worded email? A meeting with HR? Threaten legal action?

I am normally one to go with the flow on things, but I think they are doing wrong by denying us reimbursement for expenses that we have already incurred. I really think I am entitled to this money - how should I proceed?
posted by tryniti to Work & Money (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Talk to a competent employment lawyer in your jurisdiction. IANAL, but this could potentially be illegal for them to do. One thing I think could be important is whether you're an employee of Company A or an independent contractor.
posted by Aizkolari at 10:48 AM on October 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

Seconding employment lawyer. I've never heard of a company retroactively cutting someone's pay.
posted by alms at 10:51 AM on October 18, 2011

Yeah, lawyer. This sounds pretty obviously illegal.
posted by jon1270 at 11:07 AM on October 18, 2011

This sounds like a "you can't afford not to get a lawyer" situation.
posted by tel3path at 11:17 AM on October 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

They can reduce your pay starting today and going forward. They can't refuse to pay you for work already done at agreed-upon rates.

I don't think you have any other recourse but to sue them, though.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 11:27 AM on October 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

Since you're in Baton Rouge: Louisiana Workforce Commission
posted by jon1270 at 11:36 AM on October 18, 2011

I'm not a lawyer and don't know about law in LA, but jon1270 might be on the right track. CA has a state procedure to file a Wage Claim for when you are not paid what you're owed- no lawyer needed. I bet many states have something like that.
posted by drjimmy11 at 3:05 PM on October 18, 2011

Lawyers are expensive, and employment lawyers seem to only want to work on contingency. Start with your state's website. the Dept of Labor is called the Workforce Commission, as jon1270 says. there's a subsite for Labor Laws. Also, the Attorney General has a page. They may be helpful.

This is appalling behavior, and you and other employees should not have to accept it.
posted by theora55 at 3:21 PM on October 18, 2011

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