I work as a W2 employee for a medium size company under an employment contract. The contract specifies my salary for each year of the term, along with many provisions to protect the company such as a 1 year non-compete, ip clauses, and a non-disparagement agreement. The contract also specifies I am to be paid for a number of months if I am terminated without cause.
My industry has been hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis, and HR recently sent an email that for 6 weeks everyone will be taking a temporary pay cut. For me it will amount to losing about $2000. On one hand I am thankful to still have a job, on the other handle I am deeply disturbed that the company seems to view honoring my contract as optional. There is no provision for reducing my pay (and I believe most of my coworkers have a similar contract). It's probably worth noting that I am working from home, but putting in the same hours and just as productive as I would be at the office
I don't expect the company to go bankrupt (put simply, this company represents a small portion of the owner's wealth but a large portion of his reputation, so a cash infusion is likely). On the other hand, I expect layoffs are coming, and would not be surprised if the pay cut was extended.
So ultimately my dilemma is this: I am thankful to have a job, and don't want to put a target on my back by speaking out about this with management. On the other hand, I don't want to let the company walk all over me, especially if I do get laid off or if the cut is extended for a long time.
Can doing nothing for now amount to implicitly agreeing to the pay cut? How can I put myself in a legal position to pursue damages if this becomes a bigger issue, while avoiding making a big stink with management and HR in the short run.