Methods of Pay

Any method of pay is allowed, as long as the frequency of payments satisfies the above requirements.

Employers may pay any of their employees an hourly wage, a periodic salary, a commission or bonus, a day rate, a book rate, a flag rate, a piece rate, or on a per job basis. Federal law leaves the frequency of pay up to the employer, but the Texas Payday Law requires "non-exempt" employees to be paid at least twice per month (Texas Labor Code, Chapter 61, Section 61.011(b)). Since Texas follows the "at-will" employment doctrine, the method of pay may be changed at any time, with or without advance notice, as long as there is no express contract or collective bargaining agreement to the contrary. An employee can even be paid according to a combination of the above methods. The only thing that the average employer needs to worry about is that whatever method of pay is used, the gross pay has to correspond to at least minimum wage for the hours actually worked during a given seven-day workweek in order to comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the main federal wage and hour law.

Concerning commissions and bonuses, the employer should always use clear written agreements setting out the conditions of such payments. As noted in the section above on pay agreements, commissions and bonuses can be changed, but only prospectively, never retroactively, and changes to written agreements must be in writing.

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