My question involves labor and employment law for the state of: North Carolina
Hi all, thanks in advance for your help. Background about my situation: I am a vendor employee working for a "Management Consulting Firm" (as described by Google). A vendor employee is similar to a contractor in that I am assigned to a specific account (client), do all of my work for that client, and like a contractor I am an hourly employee.
Today I received an email from my consulting firm that they have instituted a 15% rate cut for all of their affiliates working on accounts (so not for their full-time employees but specifically for people like me assigned to specific clients).
The first thing I did upon receiving this email was speak to my bank manager (the client I work for is a bank). My bank manager, who also happens to manage the relationship with my consulting firm, had no idea that this rate cut had happened, so the bank is still paying my consulting firm the same amount for my services, but my consulting firm just unilaterally decided to keep more of that money for themselves because, in their own words/email, they have lost a lot of money this year due to COVID-19 and need to take extreme measures.
I would understand it if the bank/client cut my rate because they needed to cut costs, and I am a producer on the bank account, but is it legal for my consulting firm to do this? I was never told by my consulting firm that they can unilaterally change my rate at their discretion. Also, I have received multiple increases in my rate. Each time, the client was required to approve the increase. On one occasion, the client even voluntarily gave me an increase due to my exceptional performance. Why would the opposite not hold true - a decrease in my rate should also be approved by the client?
Can anyone please advise on this situation from a legal standpoint? Can a consulting firm take this action? Should they have been required to disclose upon hiring me about the possibility of a rate change at their discretion?