As an employee, you come to rely on your salary to pay your bills. However, if you receive notice of a pay cut, your entire world can be turned upside down.
If your employer notifies you of a pay cut, there are two things you should immediately do:
- Find out the proposed rate
- Ask for clarification as to why your pay is being cut
For example, your employer may have a good (and legal) reason for cutting your pay. Maybe the company is struggling to stay afloat and the only way to keep you on board is to cut your pay for a specific period of time.
Conversely, there are times when it’s illegal for your employer to cut your pay:
- They did not provide any notification about the pay cut
- The pay cut is discriminatory, such as the result of your age, sex, sexual orientation or religious beliefs
- You have a contract that clearly outlines how much compensation you should receive
- The pay cut results in you earning less than the minimum wage
Regardless of the reason for the pay cut, this is never an easy situation to deal with. You understand the impact on your career and finances, but you don’t want to rock the boat if your employer has a legitimate reason for making this move.
Should you find that your pay cut is illegal, discuss your concerns with your supervisor and HR department. This will help you better understand the company’s stance and reasoning, while also helping you formulate a strategy to protect your legal rights.