Can a employer reduce your wages by 35% if you signed a offer letter of employment for a different amount?

I was hired at a base pay of $18 per hour and possibly commissions later on. Now they are reducing our pay to $12 per hour and giving us 22% commissions on 5% base (if I make $20k in sales the company makes 5% of that, then I get 22% of the 5% so $220).

Asked on December 7, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Nevada

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

It's possible that they could do this--it depends on the circumstances. For example, if you had an offer letter laying out your compensation, they almost certainly could not change it the day or week after  you started. However, if the offer letter did not guaranty your salary for a set time, then they could almost certainly change or reduce your salary after a year--an initial offer letter does not bind an employer foreover, unless the letter, by its very terms, contemplates that your salary is set for a fixed period.

Therefore, the context and facts are critical. For example, exactly what was said in the offer letter? How long into your employment was your compensation reduced? Even whether  the new structure is really a reduction (i.e. can you make more or less as much as you had under the old structure, if you sell as much as you should?) is a factor to consider. You should bring a copy of the offer letter to an employment attorney, who can evaluate it and the facts in detail. Good luck.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.