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JPEsq, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 5106
Experience:  Experience as both corporate in-house counsel and private counsel
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Please let me know if I have a case against my employer for

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Please let me know if I have a case against my employer for the following:
1. I made a 2nd inquiry, the 1st inquiry was on 05/29/2012, regarding a commission payment I was scheduled to receive at the end of June as per my offer letter signed on 02/21/2012.
2. The very next day I received an email with an attachment stating, effective today my salary was being reduced by 68% until my sales reached an acceptable level. The attachment was a list of what my quota is. This is the 1st time a quota has ever been discussed. I am attempting to start a new branch for this company.

Can they really do this. I have never received a formal verbal counseling or any written documentation regarding quota to date.

They can reduce your salary without warning. As an at will employee (which you are unless you have an employment contract), you are subject to the whims of your employer in this regard. You can have your pay reduced on the spot, the same as you can be fired on the spot (or quit on the spot).


You would have a claim for any unpaid commissions, obviously. If you are owed compensation, and they have not paid, you could sue successfully for that.


One possible issue however is that you mention that you are starting a new branch. If you relocated for this position or had an expenses, you might be able to make out a claim under implied contract theory. In this case, the argument would be that you took this position with the understanding of a certain compensation... and because of that you have given consideration (left a job, moved, etc.). Under the implied contract theory, you might be able argue that you detrimentally relied on their promises and thus a contract was formed.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I have a formal offer letter signed and dated prior to my employment that outlines the details of my compensation package as far as the salary amount, health insurance contribution by the employer, vacation, commission rate and frequency of payment. But it does not mention a quota.

Does that mean anything?

It might help you with an implied contract claim... but then, there are entitled to change your pay (it is a matter of negotiation in a perfect world) and your job duties. They can add a quota, there is nothing preventing that. Like I said, your only possible cause of action would be through implied contract based on detrimental reliance, but that would depend on some other circumstances, like how long you have been with the employer and how you arrived at having this position.
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