What to do if I am in industrial sales and my company changed the commission structure without any notice?

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What to do if I am in industrial sales and my company changed the commission structure without any notice?

I make a base pay and a commission made on signings. Recently at the first of this year, the company I work for redid the commission structure for all employees in my position nationwide. They did not give me any written notice. Before I took this position, I signed a pay program form. When they adjusted my pay last year, I signed a new pay program form. This year I did not sign anything. Can my company adjust my commission structure at will whenever they want, if I signed something? I also get deductions for cancellations which preventing cancellations is not part of my job. Can they add deductions at will as well?

Asked on February 18, 2013 under Employment Labor Law, Kansas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

1) Only if the pay program form constitutes a contract of employment for a definite term (e.g. for one year) will it prevent the employer from changing the pay structure or amount--and even then, it will only prevent changes during its actual term. Otherwise, even if the form acknowledged or described what your pay was, it will not prevent changes, though such changes are only on a forward-looking basis (that is, only from the moment the change is announced forward, and not for work/sales done prior to that).

2) Whether the company can deduct for cancellations depends on how your commission is calculated: is it on gross sales or net sales? If it's on net sales, then yes--the company should be able to deduct for cancellations, since net sales are generally gross sales less refunds, returns, cancellations, and bad debts (unpaid sales).


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