Legal Question in Employment Law in Maryland

illegal pay cut

Is it legal to cut someone's pay without any explanation or anything in writing?

Asked on 12/24/03, 8:43 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

G. Joseph Holthaus III Law Offices of G. Joseph Holthaus

Re: illegal pay cut

Generally it would not be legal for the employer to, of its own initiative and without forward notice, reduce the amount or rate of pay.

However, many circumstances exist where this would be permissible such as garnishment, collective bargaining agreement, industry/union reductions,

by written contract not requiring forward notice. Also note that our President staunchly supports an overtime ruling that would essential make

millions of Americans not entitled to overtime pay. In this instance, where the ruling passes the pay of millions would be cut without their having received

forward notice. They would find out after the fact. I raise this point since I do not know any other facts and whether another similar ruling would apply to you.

Come the 2004 election, please take note to remember who does not stand on your side.

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Answered on 12/29/03, 9:02 am

Re: illegal pay cut

If you worked for the pay, then the employer must pay you unless there is a legal garnishment. For example, if you did not pay your taxes or child support, then the employer might have a court order to withhold some (not all) of your pay. But you would have been notified of the garnishment.

Otherwise, it is not legal to just not pay you. I would need more information to figure out what is going on. Feel free to call next week for a complimentery consultation, or you can call the US DOL, wage and hour division (or the MD DOL), for help.

Good luck and happy holidays.

Jeff Sheldon

Jeffrey L. Sheldon, Esquire

The Sheldon Law Firm

17804 St. Lucia Isle Drive

Tampa, FL 33647


(f) 813.986.7489

(Admitted in Fl., MD, D.C., and Pa.)

[email protected]

Disclaimer: This posting does not and is not intended to constitute legal advice. It is not confidential, nor is it privileged, and it does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please consult with an attorney for advice specific to the facts of your case.

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Answered on 12/25/03, 12:03 am

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