Am I owed a commission?

I’ve worked the same commission structure for 2 consecutive quarters. For the first quarter, I was paid out for all business, whether it’s new to the company or they have worked with us previously renewal. For the second quarter, I came in at 253% to my quota, meaning a large commission check. I was not paid out on time, and when I asked why I hadn’t been paid, my

director told me that the company decided to recognize renewal revenue differently, so it didn’t count like it had the previous quarter. I was never notified of this change verbally or written, received no plan update and performed the same work as in the first quarter for the entire

second quarter. It was only 2 days before the end of the quarter that I had this conversation

with my director, who refuses to put it into writing. Furthermore, I’ve been offered a

Asked on June 28, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Legally, your commission plan or structure may be changed at will (unless it's locked in by a written contract) on a *prospective*, or forward-looking, basis: that is, a change can announced, or example, on June 30 to take effect for work done July 1 and later. But it cannot retroactivley change the plan, rate, how you are commissioned or what commissioned on, etc. for work already done; work already done must be commissioned at the rate and in accordance with the plan or structure in effect at the time the work was done. If the employer retroactively changes the plan, the employee could sue for breach of contract to get the money--that is, for violation of the agreement, even if only an oral/unwritten one, pursuant to which he or she did the work. Of course, suing one's employer is a drastic step, not done lightly, so the employee should carefully weight the pros and cons (e.g. effect on future employment) before doing this.


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