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Ask an expert: When is it OK to lower my employees’ pay?

May 28, 2020 4445

Ideally, the answer to this question is never. However, the reality is that business needs may warrant that difficult decision.

CDA’s Practice Support experts are available every business day to answer members’ questions about dental benefit plans, employment practices, practice management and regulatory compliance. Regularly in this spot, we’ll showcase a Q-and-A from one of our experts to help all member dentists gain valuable insights to effectively manage their practices. 

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When is it OK to lower my employees’ pay? 

Ideally, the answer to this question is never. However, the reality is that business needs may warrant that difficult decision. In all cases, the reduction should never be based on a discriminatory reason, and employees should be provided an updated job description.  

Employees paid on an hourly basis should be paid in accordance with wage and hour laws and provided an updated Wage Theft Prevention Notice and Change in Relationship Notice to document the transition. Employers who wish to change an exempt employees wages must be mindful of salary basis requirements and ensure that the duties meet the exemption criteria. The employee should also be provided new notices and an updated job description and should follow the practices break and timekeeping policies. The new pay rate for any employee cannot take effect until after notice is provided to the employee.  

By Michelle Corbo, PHR, PHRca 
Employment Practices Analyst 

Note: Member questions are lightly edited for reader clarity. 

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