If I signed an offer letter less than a year ago but my company has changed the pay without notice, do I have any rights to challenge this?

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If I signed an offer letter less than a year ago but my company has changed the pay without notice, do I have any rights to challenge this?

I was to be paid on everything sold in my terrritory and they signed another

company to sell into the area. They told me that I do not get any compensation on what they have sold.

Asked on February 18, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Wisconsin

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Typically, an offer letter does not constitute a legally binding contract. For a contract all material terms of employment would have had to be set out and mutually agreed to (i.e. rate of pay guaranteed and for a specific duration, etc.). Otherwise, an offer letter is just that, an offer to work on terms but terms that can later be changed by the employer. The fact is that most employment arrangments are "at will". This means that a company can set the conditions of work much as it sees fit (absent some form of actionable discrimination). Accordingly, unless this pay change violates the terms of a union agreement or employment contract, it is legal.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

An offer letter does not necessarily form an enforceable contract--in fact, generally it does not. To be a contract for employment purposes, it needs to have a set duration--for example, it needs to be a one year, two year, etc. contract, which locks in the terms for that time period. If there is no time period set, then the employer may change its terms at will (i.e. with a duration during which the terms may not be changed, they may be changed anytime), so they could give your territory to another person or company.


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