I my job was eliminated, what can I do to now get paid?

UPDATED: Sep 29, 2022

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I my job was eliminated, what can I do to now get paid?

I was offered a position via a signed job offer. The negotiations took weeks before we finally agreed upon a salary, plus 1% commission. After a 90 day review, I was to get an additional 5k base salary and 2% commission. I had to request my review but finally got it. I was told basically that I was doing okay but the 90 day agreed up raise was now denied. Shortly after this, I realized my commission had been lowered to .5%, of which I had not been notified. I spoke with my director and he said I didn’t have a job offer so I emailed it to him. The job offer was signed by the corporate HR director. He did nothing and started avoiding me, so I filed a formal complaint with the HR. A week later my position was “eliminated”.

Asked on September 18, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Louisiana


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

You must be paid for all work, and all commissions earned, at the rates in effect when you did the work. That means, among other things, that you must be paid for the work you did literally up to the moment you were terminated position "eliminated". If not paid for all work and all commissions, or not paid at the correct rate, you could sue your former employer for the money to win, you'd have to, by credible testimony and/or documentary evidence e.g. emails show what your rate was, the work you did, and sales you made. For amounts at stake which are less than the limit for your small claims courts, suing in small claims, as your own attorney "pro se" is a good option.
Note that your employer had a right to terminate you or eliminate your position unless you had an actual written employment contract--not just an offer letter--to the contrary, so the termination/elimination would be legal, even if it was in response to your complaints. Note also that without a contract, wages, salary, and commission may be changed at will, but only prospectively, not retroactively--so until a change is announced to you, you earn at whatever your rate had been.

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