Contract allowed for changes in pay but not sales territory

Company changed pay scale and moved sales rep to less lucrative sales territory
|Canadian Employment Law Today

An advertising sales company was entitled to change an employee’s compensation but not her sales territory under her employment contract, the British Columbia Supreme Court has ruled.

The employee in question was hired as an advertising sales representative by Vancouver-based Stockgroup Media, an Internet advertising firm. Upon starting her employment, the employee signed an employment agreement that allowed Stockgroup to change her compensation structure and incentive plans at any time in response to changes in the business. In her first year, the employee fell short of her sales targets and she was transferred to an administrative assistant position. She still did sales part-time along with assisting other sales representatives. When her supervisor went on maternity leave in 2004, she took over the sales accounts and her sales and commissions, which included the lucrative territory of Toronto and other parts of Ontario, increased.

In May 2005, Stockgroup proposed a new compensation plan for the employee, which she didn’t like. The company made some changes and she signed it, despite still having some reservations. The employee continued to raise her concerns about her compensation over the next eight months.