Claims of Decreasing Compensation without 30 Day’s Notice–Stanbrough v. Vitek Solutions, Inc.

In Stanbrough v. Vitek Solutions, Inc., 2014 WL 462927 (Mo. Ct. App., E.D.), we have an interesting claim brought by an employee.  It appears from the brief that the employee was working for a firm that does repair work for the employer’s customer–a cable, telephone, internet provider enterprise (Charter Communications).  One of the claims is the employer’s compensation of the employee mirrored amounts payable by the client to the employer, and that decreases violate Missouri law concerning decreasing an employee’s compensation without advance notice.  The brief’s discussion of this matter, in full, is as follows:

III. The Trial Court erred in Concluding that Material issues of disputed fact did not exist to preclude Summary Judgment on Appellant’s breach of contract claims against Appellee.

A Missouri employer may not unilaterally decrease an employee’s pay absent 30 days’ notice. Mo. Rev. Stat. § 290.100.

On several occasions, Appellant inquired to a Vitek supervisor why his pay fell short of the agreed-upon “piece rate” compensation owed to him. On those occasions, Vitek’s supervisor responded that Appellant’s pay only included the “piece rate” items that Charter Communications had paid Vitek. LFRA at 10:1058; 1064. Nowhere does Vitek assert that its agreement to pay Appellant based on the “piece rate” schedule was contingent upon the vagaries of Charter’s subsequent actions after Appellant had provided such services to Charter’s customers. It follows that Vitek’s motion for summary judgment should be denied as to Appellant’s claim under Mo. Rev. Stat. § 290.100.

That’s an interesting way to posture a claim.  I’m interested to see how it works-out.