Complete Labor Law Poster for $24.95
from www.LaborLawCenter.com, includes
State, Federal, & OSHA posting requirements

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

OK, can an employer change employment terms without giving notice? California

Collapse
This topic is closed.
X
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • OK, can an employer change employment terms without giving notice? California

    What is the proper method for an employer to change "Terms of Employment" on a written Employment Contract.

    Can they do so by a random email?

  • #2
    Are you sure you have a bona fide employment contract in place as opposed to an offer letter, job description, or some other written statement the employer provided outlining your compensation, duties, etc.? What makes you believe it's an actual employment contract?

    Comment


    • #3
      I don't understand what you mean by "random" - i.e., what's a random email?

      Comment


      • #4
        Beth 3 you are correct, perhaps I do not have an actual Employment Agreement, it IS an offer letter that outlines "Terms of Employment" and states that my employment was to be based on the terms in the offer and the Company Policy Manual.

        I have opened a case with the labor commissioner.

        I really have few issue's: FIRST, I was really shocked when the Company without notice ceased paying me my "bi-weekly guaruntee'd draw against commissions, commissions to be paid when exceeded the draw" as outlined in my offer letter. but after I raised cain about WHERE ARE MY WAGES? The Supervisor copied me on an email that he sent to our payroll clerk explainin g that she was no longer to pay my the biweekly wages. Shouldn't I have received a Notice of the Changes?

        SECOND, At that point they they put me on straight commmission and started deducting 15% of my commssions to recover draw - My problem is NO WHERE does it say in my offer letter, nor the Policy Manual that commissions are "recoverable".

        THIRD at termination - they confiscated over $20,000 lump sum of my commissions instead of the 15%, which I read may have been un lawful? http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/FAQ_Deductions.htm No where did I ever agree to such terms... nor did I receive a Notice of Changes to such terms....

        does that make sense?

        Comment


        • #5
          & what do you mean by written employment contract - where is the information
          written?
          Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

          Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

          Comment


          • #6
            In the Employment Offer letter...? they did not give me a contract per se, but sent me an Offer Letter that I had to sign and send back that outlined Terms of Employment... and stated that my employment was to do governed by the offer letter and the Policy Manual.

            Comment


            • #7
              OP, your post in reply to Beth wasn't there when I started typing my post (the
              last one was made by eerelations). You & I were typing at the same time but you
              got your post submitted off first. I see you answered my question in your reply to
              Beth.
              Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

              Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

              Comment


              • #8
                tinker, as you probably have realized, an offer letter outlining terms of employment is not a contract. Your employer can change the terms of your employment any time they please.

                That said, it is really bad form not to notify an employee when the terms of his employment are changing. Just notifying payroll of the change, quite frankly stinks.

                Because it's California (and I don't pretend to be an expert on CA reg's), it is extremely likely that an employee must be notified in advance of any changes to his/her wage. It's a good thing to have filed a complaint with the State's wage and hour division. They're the right people to look into all this for you.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Yes, California is one of those states that requires prior notification of a pay decrease.

                  Did you qualify as exempt under the Outside Sales classification?
                  I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    There may be specific rules in California, but as a general matter, while an employer may be free to change employment terms PROSPECTIVELY, no one has the right to retroactively change terms after you have already rendered the services.

                    For example, in the absence of a binding agreement to the contrary, an employer could call an employee in at noon and tell him that his wages are being slashed by $1 an hour effective immediately. The employer couldn't however tell the employee that he was going to be paid reduced wages for the time he worked that morning. Even if that employer told the payroll clerk at 8:00 AM to reduce the hourly rate by $1 starting that day, if you have no notice of the change, you cannot be bound by it.
                    David K. Staub (www.illinoisbusinessattorney.com)
                    Forum posts are not legal advice, are for informational and educational purposes only, and are not a substitute for proper consultation with legal counsel.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Agreed with the other responses.
                      - Under Common Law (what you have absent contract law and statutory law), there is a rule that says that employment is "at will" and the employer can change terms of employment prospectively (on a go forward basis). CA does indeed support this rule.
                      - The key is any work done before this was under the old "terms" and the employer cannot (in theory) retroactively change the terms for work that was already done. CA also very much support this rule. You might want to download the CA-DLSE and read the chapter on commissions.
                      http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/Manual-Instructions.htm
                      - Agreed that offer letters and company manuals are generally not legally binding contracts. Not in CA. Not anywhere. While all contracts are agreements not all agreements are contracts. If you think that your pieces of paper are contracts, take them to a local attorney for review.
                      - HOWEVER, this is CA we are talking about. One more time, You need to read the commission chapter I cited. CA strongly enforces non contract law agreements. While the offer letter likely is not a contract, if the employer tries to retroactively change the working conditions there is a very good chance (not a certainty) that CA will support your position. This is very much not true in all states. CA has very pro-employEE commission rules.
                      Last edited by DAW; 05-10-2011, 08:53 AM.
                      "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
                      Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by DAW View Post
                        CA has very pro-employer commission rules.
                        I believe you meant to say "pro-employEE" not ER, correct?
                        David K. Staub (www.illinoisbusinessattorney.com)
                        Forum posts are not legal advice, are for informational and educational purposes only, and are not a substitute for proper consultation with legal counsel.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Correct and good catch.
                          "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
                          Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            DAW, I am really very confident that we are non exepmt employee's, because of the nature of technology and how Sales Efforts are conducted in todays age... with most of our sales functions are by email and cel phones. We (I) do go out on sales calls but they are primarily for introductions and when handling problems. I went on 1 or 2 calls a day, but they were quick 30 minute meetings.... and mostly I worked out of the office or my home office.

                            I am willing to bet that MOST sales are this way now with technology as advanced as it is...

                            Thank you all for responding.... any further advice you can give is greatly appreciated.... I started talking with attorneys who are very eager to take my case and to make it a class action, which I am not at all sure I want to do. I DO know that it was unlawful for them to confiscate my lump sum of commissions, which they do regularly with all their reps.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Class action may or may not be worth doing, but is far outside my area of expertise. That is talk directly to the right kind of attorney territory.

                              What you can do is this.
                              - Put together a worksheet of all hours worked by workweek. You must be paid at least MW/OT for those hours. Then match up payments received against your MW/OT requirements. That is black letter law.
                              - CA is a good place for employees to have a commission dispute but it is not a perfect place. You need to take a very hard look at the commission requirements. CA-DLSE will indeed enforce commissions promised but this can get very technical. You need to talk a very hard look at the commission section in the CA-DLSE manual.
                              "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
                              Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

                              Comment

                              The LaborLawTalk.com forum is intended for informational use only and should not be relied upon and is not a substitute for legal advice. The information contained on LaborLawTalk.com are opinions and suggestions of members and is not a representation of the opinions of LaborLawTalk.com. LaborLawTalk.com does not warrant or vouch for the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any postings or the qualifications of any person responding. Please consult a legal expert or seek the services of an attorney in your area for more accuracy on your specific situation.
                              Working...
                              X