In SD, can my employer change my commission rate retroactively?

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In SD, can my employer change my commission rate retroactively?

I have been getting the same rate for over a year and it has been changed
beginning in June of 2019. There was no signed agreement at the start of my
employment, just a verbal agreement to the rate.

Asked on July 25, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, South Dakota

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Without a written contract locking in your rate for a set or fixed period of time (e.g. a one-year, two-year, etc. commission or employment contract) it can be changed at will prospectively or going forward; the change would be effective for work done/sales made after you have notice of the change.
But your rate cannot be changed retroactively. Even without a written agreement, there was still a contract: an oral (unwritten one; "oral," not "verbal," is the correct term). An oral agreement is binding until changed (as discussed above): any work you did or sales you made before you were told about the change must be paid at the rate which was then in effect. You could sue for "breach of contract" to get any money you should have received under the old rate before being informed of the new rate, if you deem it worth your while to do so.


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