Can My Employer Reduce My Wages?
Because Massachusetts is an "at will employment" state, your employer can make changes to your responsibilities and compensation at any time, unless you have an employment contract that says otherwise.
However, these must be changes going forward. Your employer is not allowed to retroactively change your compensation, or withhold any wages or commissions that you have already earned.
You also have a right to be notified of changes before they take effect. If you were promised $25 per hour, and receive a paycheck showing $20 per hour without being told, your employer has likely violated the Massachusetts Wage Act at least for the weeks you worked believing you were being paid $25 per hour.
This comes up most commonly with commissions. An employer might change the commission policy during the year, but has to make sure that you are paid for any commissions earned while under the prior policy.
Learn more here about the Massachusetts Wage Act.
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