Lowe’s employee fears financial future after change in pay structure

Lowe’s employee fears financial future after change in pay structure

MOORESVILLE, N.C. — Mooresville-based Lowe’s is changing how it pays employees. Starting next month, it will cut allowances for all employees who earned an allowance through a select legacy program.

In 2012, the company discontinued commission from its payment structure but allowed top employees to earn an allowance based on their performance in 2011. In February, the company announced it will eliminate employee allowances as well.

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Terry Walker, a Lowe’s employee of 20 years, said the change will significantly cut his salary as he prepares for retirement.

“They’re hitting the very core of me,” Walker said. “I put everything on halt because I’ve got to figure out, ‘A. How I’m going to survive. And B. How I’m going to retire.’”

Walker was among a group in 2012 who also saw a reduction in pay after the commission payments ended.

“This is not being done to me because I was a slug,” Walker said. “This is being done to me because I was the very best.”

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Lowe’s sent the following response to Channel 9:

“We shared the ending of this program with associates back in August 2019. Here’s some additional context: While Lowe’s ended our commission allowance program in 2012, some associates continued to receive payments based upon their 2011 performance.

"As the leadership team evaluated the business and to ensure our compensation structure is appropriate for all associates, we made the decision to discontinue the allowance completely. We remain focused on ensuring the competitiveness of our compensation program for all associates.”

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Walker said his future is not certain anymore.

“I’m 63-years-old. I’m thinking about retirement. I’ve got a grandbaby. I’ve started a college fund for her. From the day they told me they’d cut my salary, I don’t put one dime in her college fund,” Walker said. “My wife said, ‘Well, what about your job? They’re probably going to fire you.’ I said, ‘Well honey, if I'm working a job and they won’t pay me, I'm already fired.’”

Walker hopes his employer takes a step back and thinks about how the new structure affects its employees.

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