Microsoft’s mandated 10 percent reduction in temp bill rates instigated angry responses from the temp IT contractors of Aditi Staffing. Aditi allegedly responded to its employees with the following email [edited for brevity by me]:
Sent: Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Subject: Re: Important Announcement: Changes to Agency Temporary
The team here at Aditi Staffing would like to follow up with the communication you received yesterday. […]
Some of you have asked whether Aditi can legally do this. The answer is "yes." All of us are employed "at will." What this means, under the law, is that Aditi may change, at any time and without any notice, any aspect of the terms and conditions of employment. This includes things like how long you are employed, what you are paid, what benefits packages we offer, and the roles and responsibilities we ask of you.
This at-will concept is embedded in offer letters, our handbook and other employment-related documents. In fact, companies across the nation are presently cutting pay, mandating furloughs, reducing hours, and implementing any number of other payroll-reduction strategies in an effort to weather these current times. Your right, under the "at-will" doctrine, is to evaluate whether the new compensation package being offered by Aditi is one that you want to continue to work under. In this case, we sincerely hope that you will. If you have questions, or would like to discuss further, please do not hesitate to contact us.
You can read various related articles along with abundant outraged comments at Seattle.pi.
Anyone care to comment on this? It seems Aditi consulted its attorneys on this but my understanding is that they would need to terminate an existing contract and have the employee agree to the new one before changing the pay.