Does an employee have any recourse if their employer decided to change their pay structure?

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Does an employee have any recourse if their employer decided to change their pay structure?

I’m in sales and my compensation is salary + commission, and my company has a bigger need in service so the company switched the entire sales department to servicing. I still receive the base + a monthly guarantee compensation. It is expected that in 8 months I will no longer receive the guarantee but receive an increase in salary and that will be 40% less than what I have received since I’ve been working there (3 years). We weren’t give any choice in switching to service and no option about our job other than leaving the company or finding work in another department. Do I have any recourse about this?

Asked on August 24, 2011 Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If you have an employment contract setting out your salary, then you may enforce that contract. However, in the absence of an employment contract, a comany is free to alter how pay is calculated or to reduce the pay of employees (or both), subject only to:

1) You must still get more than the minimum wage equivalent for the hours you work

2) If you are a non-exempt employee (not exempt from overtime), you must be paid overtime

3) No discriminatipon in how much people are paid on the basis of race, religion, sex, age over 40, disability, etc.

4) No retaliation against people in terms of cutting their salary because they used a protected benefit (e.g. FMLA) or brought a protected complaint (e.g. harassment or discrimination).

Otherwise, the comany can change your pay rate and structure, unfortunately, at will.


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