Q) I am a salary employee at a Hotel. The hotel was recently sold and if I am asked to take a hourly position for less money. Is that legal? Can I refused and apply for benefits? Or do I have to accept even though I drive 50 miles to work one way? I just want to be informed on my options. I am a retired soldier and after moving to Indiana it took me 3 years to find employment due to my age. I was hired at this position almost four years ago. Thank you David B*****
A) If your employer is offering you an hourly position with lower pay, it may be legal as long as they are complying with the minimum wage laws in your state. However, if you are being asked to take a lower position solely because of the hotel’s sale, it may be considered a demotion and could be illegal. You should consult an employment lawyer to get a better understanding of your legal rights in this situation.
You can refuse the offer of an hourly position and apply for benefits, such as unemployment benefits, if you are eligible. However, the eligibility criteria for such benefits vary by state and depend on several factors, such as the reason for job separation and the duration of employment. You can contact your state’s unemployment insurance agency to find out if you qualify for benefits.
If you are being asked to accept an hourly position that requires you to commute 50 miles one way, you may be able to negotiate a higher wage or request reimbursement for your travel expenses. You can discuss these options with your employer before accepting the new position.
Overall, it is important to be informed of your legal rights and options in this situation. You may want to seek the advice of an employment lawyer to ensure that your rights are protected.
You can keep your position and apply for unemployment benefits to cover some of your reduced wages. Keep in mind that one of the requirements for getting unemployment insurance benefits is that “you lost your job through no fault of your own”. As to if it is legal for your new hotel owner to reduce you wages, you will need to enquirer at your state department of employment office.