Can my employer put me on commission without informing me?

My employer told me that this would be my last paycheck on salary, however
today is payday and I received no check. After calling accounting, I learned that
my employer decided I would not be receiving a salary pay check as promised. I
was not informed of being put on commission weeks early. My has already
violated my contract several times by saying that there was to ‘end date’ to my
employee contract, thus they don’t feel that they need to honor it.

Asked on July 7, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Utah


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

First, if you had a written employment contract for a definite term (e.g. a one-year contract) and it had not expired yet, the employer cannot do anything that violates the terms of the contract: if the employer does, you can file a lawsuit against them for "breach of contract" to enforce the contract's terms (e.g. to force a rehire or get compensation if you weren't paid as contracted).
Second, if you don't have a still-in-effect written employment contract, your employer can change how you are paid--e.g. make you commission only--BUT any such change is only effective prospectively, or from the moment you are told it will take effect forward. Retroactive changes are illegal: any work done prior to the announced change must be paid as per the then-in-effect salary or wages you had, and if you are not paid what you should be for work that you did, you could sue the employer for the money due you, as per the then-in-effect pay structure and amount.

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