Employers can’t threaten to fire if you refuse unfair wage

On behalf of Sullivan Law Group APC posted in wrongful termination on Friday, February 2, 2018.

Imagine this scenario: your boss tells you and your co-workers that, due to rising expenses, everyone must take a pay cut. However, this would put your earnings under California’s minimum wage. You speak up and tell your boss that the company cannot decrease your wage, but your boss tells you that you have to agree to the change – or you’re fired.

You do not have to accept this ultimatum. In fact, what the boss in this example did is illegal. Not only did the employer refuse to pay a fair wage by law, but they would commit wrongful termination if they fired an employee for calling them out.

As of this past January, the minimum wage in California rose to $10.50 for businesses with 25 or fewer employees and $11.00 for businesses with 26 or more employees. Aside from special circumstances, employers must follow this rule to make sure their workers receive fair pay.

Furthermore, some employers don’t expect you to know your legal rights as a worker. They may use threats and punishment to get away with unethical business practices. You need your job, so you probably want to do everything you can to avoid losing it.

However, the law also protects you from these tricky situations by restricting wrongful termination. Legitimate reasons for terminating your employment may exist within the terms of your contract, but employers cannot retaliate against you for complaining about illegal practices.

In fact, the government encourages wage and hour complaints because they hold employers accountable. If you feel trapped between an unfair wage and no wage at all, you can consult with an attorney. You may have a claim to recover lost wages and protect your job.