Can a company change you from hourly pay to commission pay without telling you first?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can a company change you from hourly pay to commission pay without telling you first?

My husband works as body technician trainee. He is training under a licensed body tech, and they told him that he would be paid hourly until further notice. The company, without letting my husband know, changed his pay to commission after only giving him 20 hours worth of work, and did not

give him any notice. He received only 14 hours worth of work this week, and the manager of the shop said that there is nothing he can do.

Asked on September 23, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Arkansas


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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

A wage can be changed from hourly to commission pay without prior notice. However, it cannot be done retroactively. In other words, any hours worked before the change went into effect and the employee was actually informed of it would have to be at the former rate of pay. Only hours going forward would be based on commission (versus the hourly rate). This assumes that there is no employment contract or union agreement to the contrary. Otherwise, an "at will" employer can set the conditions of the workplace much as it sees fit.

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 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.

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