Can an employer keep changing the pay structure without notice?

UPDATED: Aug 14, 2011

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Can an employer keep changing the pay structure without notice?

I work as a sales associate and almost 1 year ago my company changed over to a commission based program. Today I was told that our pay was changing again starting immediately to hourly for 3 weeks and we get our commission on the fourth week. Can they keep changing our pay without proper notification?

Asked on August 14, 2011 Indiana


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

But they *did* provide proper notification--they told you that the pay structure was changing starting immediately, or going forward. If you do not have an employment contract, you are an employee at will; an employer may terminate, suspend, promote, transfer, give a raise to, reduce the pay of, or change how the employee at will is paid at any time, for any reason. The only limitations are:

1) No illegal discrimination in how people are treated (e.g. don't discriminate against race, religion, age over 40, sex, disability).

2) No retaliation for filing or bringing a protected claim (e.g. a wage and hour, overtime, FMLA, or discrimination claim).

3) Changes can't be retroactive--whatever you've earned up to the time of the announcement is yours.

But a forward looking or prospective change is fine, and no more notice is required that "starting now" or "starting immediately."

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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