Can my employer of 17 years change my sales/sales leader role to commission only?

I’ve been working for my employer for 17 years as 1 of 2 salesperson/sales leaders. We also manage independent sales reps. We sell expensive cell sites with long sales cycles. I was informed yesterday that my base salary is being removed and effective 10 days ago: I make only commission. I’m unsure of

my benefits. Can my employer do this? What are my rights? Am I still entitled to any benefits? Can he dictate my time/vacation days, etc.?

Thank you.

Asked on May 10, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Texas


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

So long as this action does not violate the terms of an employment contract or union agreement, it is legal. The fact is that most employment is "at will" which means that a comapny can set the conditions of work much as it sees fit (absent some form of legally actionable discrimination). This includes how to pay an employee (i.e. commission and/or salary).

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Unless you had a written employment agreement for a definite term (e.g. a one-year, two-year, etc. agreement) defining your role and compensation, your employer may do this. In the absence of a written employment contract, all employment is "employment at will": the employer can set or change duties, title, location, schedule, hours, how and how much paid, etc. at will. With a contract, the terms of your job are 100% up to the employer.

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