Can your employer change your pay without discussing it with you?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can your employer change your pay without discussing it with you?

I was sent a text from my boss a night before being paid, that my paychecks will only be based on commission. All other paychecks before were based on an hourly rate plus commission that both employer and employee agreed to. I understand that they can change the pay but is it legal to do so without prior notice to being paid?

Asked on March 2, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Louisiana


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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Absent an employment contract or union agreement to the contrary, an employer can decrease a worker's rate of pay. That having been said, it can only do so for work yet to be performed; it cannot decrease pay after the fact. In other words, retroactive wage reductions are illegal. A worker must first be informed of such a decrease prior to perfoming any further work duties. This way if the decrease is not acceptable to them they have the option of quitting before working for less.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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