Q: I sale cars at a lot owned by a huge dealership. I was given a raise last month, now they want to take it back.
I have worked there for 7 months. I have been a top employee since day 1. Last month they doubled my commission and gave it to me in writing. It was my top month for sales also. My commission ended up almost 10,000 dollars. Yesterday the owner came in with new paperwork saying they were taking away the raise in commission and instead giving me bonuses, which isnt even close to the new commission and want it backdated to the beginning of the month. The GM suggested I submit a counter offer but its unfair they reduce my commission because i made more than they thought I would. Also, a male employee was hired a few weeks ago and was started at the commission structure it took them 7 month to offer me. I am a female and a minority. What recourses do I have?
As to the commission change, the employer can change your compensation, including commission, at any time. However, the change cannot be retroactive. This means that if you earned commission under the new structure, you are entitled to the amount so earned. Even so, they can change the commission moving forward or do away with it although.
If you are being denied compensation, commission or otherwise, due to your race or gender, then you may have a claim for unlawful discrimination.
Keep in mind that these are extremely complex legal issues and you need to consult directly with an experienced employment attorney to have your situation fully analyzed.
A: You need to talk to an attorney. Employer cannot change the policy to eliminate earned/accrued benefits such as your commission. Moreover, any policy changes affecting wages require advanced notice. Generally speaking, employer may change things going forward but not backwards. What your employer is attempting to do would violate NC Wage and Hour Act. I suspect that your employer might try to terminate you, if you refuse to agree to the changes, or that the employer will engage in other forms of retaliation. Moreover, it sounds like there are some Title Vll violations, namely gender discrimination in terms of pay and promotions that are available to you as compared to similarly situated male employees. Get a free consultation! I think that you might have a pretty strong case.
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