It is well known in Inland Empire and other places in California that wage theft is a major problem and the labor department has been cracking down as a result, costing employers multi million dollar payouts to employees for wages owed, penalties, and interest. Unpaid commissions fall under the wage theft umbrella. California recognizes commissions as payments made to employees that are a percentage of a product or service sold by the employee. These payments may be based on the number of sales made or on the sales amount or profits.
When any part of an employee’s wages relate to commissions, California law requires the financial and payment conditions and calculations to be set forth in an agreement. Unpaid commissions claims are generally based in contract law as a result.
Termination of employment
A lot of our unpaid commissions cases involve a former employee who either quit or was fired and did not receive the commissions he or she earned while employed. In these cases, the commissions agreement becomes the center of the claim. If the employee satisfied terms of contract, he or she is owed commissions. If you believe you are owed unpaid commissions, contact an Inland Empire failure to pay commissions attorney at Rager & Yoon – Employment Lawyers to schedule a consultation. We will discuss the facts of your case and review your commissions agreement.
Some defenses commonly asserted by employers in failure to pay commissions cases are described below.
- Bonus – Employers may argue that the claimed commission is not actually a commission, but is instead an employee bonus that is discretionary and not part of compensation.
- Commission not earned – Defendants argue that all of the required conditions under the agreement were not met in order to “earn” the commission.
- Forfeiture – some commission agreements outline forfeiture scenarios under which an employee forfeits his or her commission. Forfeiture provisions are tricky and some may not be valid which is why it is important to speak with an attorney.
- Advances – Employers may give employees advances on commissions so that the employee has cash on hand for paying bills, buying groceries etc. Advances generally act as a loan and are deducted from commissions.
Additional types of wage theft cases in California may include labeling employees as independent contractors to avoid providing benefits, paying lower wages than what was promised, paying less than minimum wage, not paying over time, and employers misappropriating tips that belong to employees. Wage theft is a violation of federal and state law, it harms employees and their families, and it is an unconscionable abuse of big business power.
The Inland Empire failure to pay commissions attorneys at Rager & Yoon – Employment Lawyers are zealous advocates for wage theft victims and we want to see bad faith employers punished for their conduct. We can help you bring a legal case against your employer or file a claim with the California Labor Commissioner. Your recovery for violations of wage law may include unpaid commissions, interest, attorney fees, penalties, and damages.