California has a strong and strict labor code that protects employees from employer wage violations commonly known as wage theft. Wage theft occurs when employees do not receive all of the wages to which they are entitled. California’s companies are taking hard financial hits for wage violations including a recent multi million-dollar case against a Glendale construction company. Wage theft can occur in a number of scenarios including when an employer fails to pay a current or former employee sales commissions owed.
Commissions under California law are monies earned by an employee that are related to a percentage of the employee’s sales of goods or services. When any part of an employee’s wages are commission based, the commission terms must be in writing and the employer is required to obtain the employee’s signature to prove that the employee has read the agreement. The agreements are to set forth the terms and conditions of the commissions including how they are calculated and paid.
Defenses to unpaid commissions claims
Employees who have not been paid commissions that they are owed may file a lawsuit or may file a complaint with the California Labor Commissioner’s office. Some common defenses that a defendant may assert in a failure to pay commissions complaint include the money the employee expected to receive was a bonus rather than a commission, the employee was not involved in the sale of goods or services, the employee forfeited the commission, amounts claimed to be owed were previously advanced to the employee, or the employee did not satisfy conditions required to earn the commission.
Other types of unpaid wages cases in California
Failure to pay commissions is one of many different types of wage theft cases in California. Other types of wage theft cases are listed below.
- Misclassification of an employee as an independent contractor allowing the company to avoid providing specific benefits and pay requirements.
- Requiring employees to work when they are off the clock.
- Not providing required benefits such as health insurance or promising benefits that the company does not actually provide. For example, employees may find that their health insurance is not as comprehensive as promised in the job offer or that the 401k match is not as high as promised.
- Paying employees lower wages than promised.
- Paying employees less than minimum wage.
- Not providing required meal and rest breaks.
- Not paying overtime as required by California law.
- Refusing employees tips that they earned.
Recovery for wage theft
If you have been a victim of unpaid commissions or other types of wage theft, contact a Glendale failure to pay commissions attorney with Rager & Yoon – Employment Lawyers to go over your claims and damages. Damages for victims of wage law violations may include unpaid wages, interest, employer penalties, and attorney fees. California labor laws are favorable to employees who are wrongly deprived of wages they are owed by their employers. Our unpaid commissions attorneys are California wage law experts and advocates for wage theft victims who want to see that you are fully compensated for your damages.