lies in job offer

I was hired a little over a year ago by a company and have a copy of the job offer that I signed that stated my pay as hourly amount or commission whichever is greater, starting 5 days prior to my starting. After about 6 weeks of being there I asked the president of the company when we will start tracking commission, he said I haven't figured it out yet. Exactly 11 months after the commision was supposed to start they rolled out the commission plan to all of us and eliminated the hourly or guarantee clause. It seemed to be better for the company to pay hourly during a busy economy and switch to commission when the economy got shaky regardless of my agreement. the year I was hourly I made $50,000 for the year, the first 4 months on commission I made $32,000 and business is slow. The president of the company also remarked to me when I questioned something else in the agreement (about vacation) that "it was just a worthless piece of paper that I needed to throw away". Is this allowed and is there anything I can do? I left a very secure job making about $63,000 to com here and get scammed.

1 answer  |  asked Jun 3, 2008 12:11 PM [EST]  |  applies to Ohio

Answers (1)

Neil Rubin
Is this an employment contract which can be enforced?

Dear Robert W.:

This is the type of story that just makes my blood boil. (I have suffered the situation you have described in my working career. This is the primary reason I work for myself.)

The presumption in Ohio is that you are an at-will employee. Practically speaking, you accept a job and do work and the employer pays you. If the terms of the employment are not satisfactory you are free to resign and get a new job. And . . . on the other side of the coin, the employer can terminate you for no reason at all, subject to the exception of certain discriminating conduct.

Another exception to at-will employment is the "employment contract".

The ultimate question in your fact pattern is if the document you signed is actually an "employment contract". If it is, you have some legal recourse. If it is not, you have no recourse. The only way for you to reasonably determine if you have an enforceable contract is to consult with a competent employment attorney.

But, even if you have a valid employment contract, you may need to sue your employer to enforce the contract's terms--not an attractive scenario--especially since he can fire you.

Sorry I could not be more encouraging. At the very least you should have an attorney look at the job-offer paper. This attorney may be able to negotiate something with your employer without filing suit.

Good luck,

Neil Rubin 216-923-0333

This post is not meant to: 1) contain my signature; 2) contain legal advice; 3) create an attorney/client relationship; or 4) guarantee confidentiality.

posted by Neil Rubin  |  Jun 4, 2008 2:42 PM [EST]

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