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Salaried employee now commission only California

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  • Salaried employee now commission only California

    When I was hired I was given a document showing my salary. I was to be salary plus commission (however the commissions didn't come into play until I reached a certain sales level which I never did).
    There were many times I didn't get a lunch break or any breaks for that matter while out in the field. I would have to attend evening conference call meetings and would have to complete sales reports at the end of the day,usually after leaving the field while at home in the evening. I was sent to training that envolved very long days many times over 10 hours a stretch with very few breaks (5-10 min) and about 20-30 min lunches every day for a week. At the end of the training day we were given "homework" that extended the time spent for training. We were never given any overtime pay for this as I was to understand it was because we were salary and salaried employees don't get overtime.
    I have since passed probation (90 days) and am a permanent employee. I have also become very ill and have gotten a doctor's note stating what I can and cannot do. The company has decided to switch me from a Salary plus commission position to commission only due to lack of production (sales).
    My question is, can they do this? I was not given any documentation supporting this move nor was I given fair warning (in writing) that it was going to take place. Last week's paycheck showed a commission check for $54.00 while I was making $700.00/wk. My sales manager called and left me a message letting me know (after the fact) that the company was switching me to a straight commissioned position because of lack of production and also because most of the sales force was commissoned based anyway. I was one of a handful that were hired on as a salaried employee.
    What are my rights here?

  • #2
    Are you an outside salesperson?
    Megan E. Ross, Esq.
    Law Offices of Michael Tracy
    http://www.gotovertime.com

    Disclaimer: The above response is a general statement of the law and should not be relied upon as legal advice. It only assumes the facts that are stated in the message. The above response does not serve to form an attorney-client relationship.

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    • #3
      Yes, I am an outside sales rep.

      Comment


      • #4
        Bad news, then. They don't have to pay you salary or overtime; they don't even have to pay you minimum wage.

        If you are disabled, or if you used FMLA time due to your illness, and they are cutting your pay in retaliation, you may have a claim.

        While technically they cannot change your pay without telling you beforehand, unless you worked for a considerable period before you got your supervisor's message about the change in your pay structure, I doubt it would be worth pursuing.

        There is no requirement that the notice be in writing.
        Megan E. Ross, Esq.
        Law Offices of Michael Tracy
        http://www.gotovertime.com

        Disclaimer: The above response is a general statement of the law and should not be relied upon as legal advice. It only assumes the facts that are stated in the message. The above response does not serve to form an attorney-client relationship.

        Comment


        • #5
          I'm not quite sure I follow. So if a company hires you and gives you a letter outlining your pay structure. My pay structure was salary plus commission. Then they can just up and decide that they are changing your pay structure to commission only. I thought that sending you a letter outlining your job duties and your pay structure was a type of contract, my accepting it was accepting the contract. The other party to the contract can't make changes to the contract without notifying the other party of the changes. Right? But they did make changes to my employment "contract" with them without sending me a "new contract" outlining my new pay structure. I could then accept the new contract or decline it. It would not be legal for me to decide that I'm working way too many hours so I'm going to start getting paid hourly and they would have to just accept it.
          It seems wrong for a company to be able to change the status of an employment arrangement to better suit their needs. If what you are telling me is correct then why even have a "job" in the first place when any employer can change your pay structure any time they want.
          It may be legal but it's wrong and there needs to be something put in place to protect employees from such actions.

          Comment


          • #6
            If you have a bonafide contract that is true. What the vast majority of employees have is an offer letter with the policies and pay in place at the time of offer which is not a contract. If you have an honest to goodness contract, you need to take it to a lawyer to review whether they are upholding the terms of the agreement. It is possible that even if you do have a contract, the pay structure may still be able to be changed.
            I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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            • #7
              To be a little technical here, there probably was a contract formed when the work was performed. The issue is the terms of the contract. In essense, the terms of the contract were "You will work for me as a salespeson and I will pay you a salary of $x and Commission of y%. This employment is at-will and can be terminated at any time by either party." Please note that the "at-will" portion will be implied in any employment contract that does not say otherwise. Given that your employer can terminate the contract at will -- just like you can, any change in the pay is simply the employer terminating the initial contract and offering you an new contract. You can refuse the new contract, in which case you would be terminated.

              At first, it might seem unfair. However, when you look at it from the other side, it isn't that bad. For instance, if you decided to quit work one day, and the employer said "But we had a contract that you would work for me. I am paying you exactly what I promised and you get paid on time, therefore you can't quit." You would not really like this situation at all. As such, the "at-will" doctrine does serve to protect employees as well.
              Michael Tracy
              Attorney
              http://www.laborlawradio.com

              Disclaimer: The above response is a general statement of the law and should not be relied upon as legal advice. It only assumes the facts that are stated in the message. The above response does not serve to form an attorney-client relationship.

              Comment

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