Commission Deduction

Can an employer 3 days before a pay period tell the employee that they are going to take a certain amount off on each commission deal simply because they dont want to pay that high of commission on each sale. No notice was given prior.

Thank You,


1 answer  |  asked Nov 4, 2004 6:09 PM [EST]  |  applies to Pennsylvania

Answers (1)

Christopher Ezold
An employer can't change your pay after you have earned it.

Before I respond to your inquiry, I must state that we have not spoken, I have not reviewed the relevant documents and facts, and I do not represent you. Therefore, my discussion below is not a legal opinion, but is informational only. Finally, my discussion applies only to issues to which Pennsylvania or Federal law apply, unless otherwise specified.

That being said, an employer may not change your pay after you have earned it. The difficulty is whether you have 'earned' your commission prior to the pay date. You have clearly done the work, but the courts have held that a commission is not earned until the money comes in to the employer. The employer's policies may also impact your right to the commission (i.e. requiring you be employed on the pay date, etc.). Should you have not technically earned your commission, the courts may allow your employer to change the commission structure after you have done the work but before the pay date. However, without further knowledge of the facts, I cannot give an opinion on whether you have technically earned your commission.

Regardless of whether you have technically earned your commission, it is grossly unfair to change your pay scale after you have been enticed to do the work under the old pay scale. It is likely that a judge or jury would not hesitate to find in your favor, techical earning aside.

If you would like to discuss this matter further, please feel free to contact me at the below address(es) or number.

/Christopher E. Ezold/
Nancy O'Mara Ezold, P.C.
401 City Line Avenue,
Suite 904
Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004
(610) 660-5585

posted by Christopher Ezold  |  Nov 5, 2004 08:16 AM [EST]

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