Can my employer change my pay from hourly to commission?

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Can my employer change my pay from hourly to commission?

I am a dental assistant.

Asked on October 31, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If  you have a contract defining or specifying how you are paid, the employer will be bound by it. However, apart from that, on a forward-looking basis (i.e. from when they tell of you of the change and forward in time), your employer can absolutely change how you are paid. An employer has discretion to set the hours, wages, terms, and how compensation is determined for its employees. For any work done to date, you have to paid under your then-existing wage structure; the change can only be made prospectively, not retroactively. Also, if you are an employee who would receive overtime, you probably still need to be paid overtime even if your compensation is determined on a commission basis, since the overtime exemptions for commissioned staff apply to individuals like retail sales or outside sales personnel, which you probably are not. Therefore, if you work more than 40 hours in a week, you will need to be paid more for hours over 40.


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