Can my employer change my commission rate retroactively?
Question Details: I have been getting the same rate for over a year and it has been changed beginning in last month. There was no signed agreement at the start of my employment, just a verbal agreement to the rate.
Without a written contract locking in your rate for a set or fixed period of time (e.g. a one-year, two-year, etc. commission or employment contract) it can be changed at will prospectively or going forward; the change would be effective for work done/sales made after you have notice of the change.
But your rate cannot be changed retroactively. Even without a written agreement, there was still a contract: an oral (unwritten one; "oral," not "verbal," is the correct term). An oral agreement is binding until changed (as discussed above): any work you did or sales you made before you were told about the change must be paid at the rate which was then in effect. You could sue for "breach of contract" to get any money you should have received under the old rate before being informed of the new rate, if you deem it worth your while to do so.