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  • Abusive boss/Overtime Changing pay - CA California

    Hi guys first time poster,
    ill try to break this down to make it easy.

    Backround I have been at this job for 6 months, initally i was a hybrid sales/support role.

    I am a regular employee with a w2.

    Original contract states 12 dollars hourly then a raise to 15 after 3 months.
    however the sales contract says 12 dollars hourly and no hourly after 3 months.

    Regardless the issues are dealing with mostly abuse/discrimination/and overtime.

    1. Abuse, most say the have the worst boss in the world, but myself have delt with daily cursing, screaming yelling etc. Direct insults include " your a fing idiot etc"

    2. discrimination, im a hefty guy, we are provided company shirts, my body shape causes my belly and my rear to be exposed when i bend over,
    often i get yelled at mostyly cover your fat *** up, etc,
    it has gotten to a point where now my pay is reduced 5 dollars everytime my boss sees my belly or rear.
    is that leagal?

    3. overtime, our hours are from 9 to 6 with a 1 hour lunch.
    often we work past 6 and never have received overtime for the time past 6. its a small inc with less than 10 people, he takes our clock ours and multipies by the hourly rate and gives us checks.

    4. comission structure, in the begenning, and on my contract it states that i recieve 6% of all sales of services and anything past 5% markup on items.

    Say i sell an item whos cost was 100 dollars, for 200.
    the company will take the cost plus 5% and then i get the remainder.

    now every month the boss has been getting mad that i sell more items than services, so he sends an email out saying he is reducing my hourly from 12 to 11 and now to 10. in addtion he has increased his 5% item company commission to 6% and lastly this month to 50%

    so now if i sell something that costs 100 for 200 he keeps 50% of 95 = 47

    these changes to sales commissions come in emails and at random.

    in addition if a customer does not pay he deducts my commission retroactivly. is that legal it is not my job to insure that customers pay.

    also commission checks which at the start of the position were paid with the hourly every 2 weeks.
    he felt that if a client might not pay that he will shift the commission check 2 weeks over, so each paycheck i get the commission from the earler paycheck.

    now where i stand today is, for the past 3 days i have delt with constant abuse, a pay reduction because he saw my stomach, my hourly reduced 1 dollar an hour, and my commission check which is due tomarrow posponed till next week as punishment for a mistake he claimies i made.
    in addition he took another 8% of that particular check because " he has to pay company taxes" and another 100 out of my commission to expedite shipping on the mistake that i supposedly made.

    i have email evidence of some abuse, and of the pay reductions,
    i also have my paystubs indicating no over time.


    do you guys think i can take any legal action,
    i assume hes waiting till i quit so he can keep comission checks,
    today he threatened to fire me before he postponed my commission check.
    Last edited by wontforgetdis; 06-02-2009, 03:07 PM. Reason: update

  • #2
    1. Abuse, most say the have the worst boss in the world, but myself have delt with daily cursing, screaming yelling etc. Direct insults include " your a fing idiot etc" Having a boss who is an abusive maniac is not illegal. If you don't want to put up with that (who would?) you need to find another job asap.

    2. discrimination, im a hefty guy, we are provided company shirts, my body shape causes my belly and my rear to be exposed when i bend over,
    often i get yelled at mostyly cover your fat *** up, etc,
    it has gotten to a point where now my pay is reduced 5 dollars everytime my boss sees my belly or rear.
    is that leagal?
    That is not prohibited discrimination. It's just rude and mean. Are you saying your boss makes a $5 deduction from your pay when that happens? If so, that's illegal.

    3. overtime, our hours are from 9 to 6 with a 1 hour lunch.
    often we work past 6 and never have received overtime for the time past 6. its a small inc with less than 10 people, he takes our clock ours and multipies by the hourly rate and gives us checks.
    If you are an exempt employee, you need never be paid overtime however I suspect you are in a non-exempt position which means you must be paid OT for all hours worked in excess of 40. File a complaint with CA's Department of Labor.

    4. comission structure, in the begenning, and on my contract it states that i recieve 6% of all sales of services and anything past 5% markup on items.

    Say i sell an item whos cost was 100 dollars, for 200.
    the company will take the cost plus 5% and then i get the remainder.

    now every month the boss has been getting mad that i sell more items than services, so he sends an email out saying he is reducing my hourly from 12 to 11 and now to 10. in addtion he has increased his 5% item company commission to 6% and lastly this month to 50%

    so now if i sell something that costs 100 for 200 he keeps 50% of 95 = 47

    these changes to sales commissions come in emails and at random.


    All that is legal. The only question is the contract you refer to. If there's a bonafide employment contract in place (which hasn't been established) and if the boss is changing the terms of your compensation from what the contract stipulates, then you need to see an attorney as this is a civil matter.

    in addition if a customer does not pay he deducts my commission retroactivly. is that legal it is not my job to insure that customers pay. Yes, both are legal. If the customer doesn't pay, then there's nothing to pay you a commission on.

    At a minimum, it appears your employer is engaging in multiple violations of wage and hour laws. Plus he's a raving jerk. File a complaint with the State for the unlawful payroll deductions and start looking for a new job. If you want to know whether there is actually an employment contract in place that's enforceable, you'll need to show the document to an attorney.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Beth3 View Post
      [I]I suspect you are in a non-exempt position which means you must be paid OT for all hours worked in excess of 40.
      Since this is Ca. - Hours worked in excess of 8 in a day or 40 in a wk. & the 1st 8 hrs. worked on the 7th day of work in a given work week must be paid at the rate of not less than 1 1/2 times the regular rate of pay. Hours worked in excess of 12 in one day as well as hrs. worked in excess of 8 on any 7th day of a workweek must be compensated at the rate of not less than twice the regular rate of pay. Employees working under an alternative workweek schedule under other specified provisions are exempt from the 8-hr. requirement.
      (Once an hr. has been counted as a daily OT hr., it is not eligible toward weekly OT.)
      Info above re overtime pay would not apply to an exempt employee.
      Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

      Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

      Comment


      • #4
        You're right, Betty. I overlooked CA's 8 hour requirement. Thanks.

        Comment


        • #5
          Disciplining you for exposing body parts which should not be exposed is legal. Docking your pay is not. Docking it on a going forward basis for repeat offenses would be. Being larger than some does not mean you get a pass when it comes to exposing yourself at work. There is no excuse for showing your backside or stomach at work no matter what your size. It just isn't acceptable behavior.
          I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Beth3 View Post
            1. Abuse, most say the have the worst boss in the world, but myself have delt with daily cursing, screaming yelling etc. Direct insults include " your a fing idiot etc" Having a boss who is an abusive maniac is not illegal. If you don't want to put up with that (who would?) you need to find another job asap.

            2. discrimination, im a hefty guy, we are provided company shirts, my body shape causes my belly and my rear to be exposed when i bend over,
            often i get yelled at mostyly cover your fat *** up, etc,
            it has gotten to a point where now my pay is reduced 5 dollars everytime my boss sees my belly or rear.
            is that leagal?
            That is not prohibited discrimination. It's just rude and mean. Are you saying your boss makes a $5 deduction from your pay when that happens? If so, that's illegal.


            yes in his words every time i see your belly its 5 dollars off your paycheck



            3. overtime, our hours are from 9 to 6 with a 1 hour lunch.
            often we work past 6 and never have received overtime for the time past 6. its a small inc with less than 10 people, he takes our clock ours and multipies by the hourly rate and gives us checks.
            If you are an exempt employee, you need never be paid overtime however I suspect you are in a non-exempt position which means you must be paid OT for all hours worked in excess of 40. File a complaint with CA's Department of Labor.

            im a regular hourly guy

            4. comission structure, in the begenning, and on my contract it states that i recieve 6% of all sales of services and anything past 5% markup on items.

            Say i sell an item whos cost was 100 dollars, for 200.
            the company will take the cost plus 5% and then i get the remainder.

            now every month the boss has been getting mad that i sell more items than services, so he sends an email out saying he is reducing my hourly from 12 to 11 and now to 10. in addtion he has increased his 5% item company commission to 6% and lastly this month to 50%

            so now if i sell something that costs 100 for 200 he keeps 50% of 95 = 47

            these changes to sales commissions come in emails and at random.


            All that is legal. The only question is the contract you refer to. If there's a bonafide employment contract in place (which hasn't been established) and if the boss is changing the terms of your compensation from what the contract stipulates, then you need to see an attorney as this is a civil matter.

            yes there is a bonadief commission con tract that was sighned at the begenning of employment

            in addition if a customer does not pay he deducts my commission retroactivly. is that legal it is not my job to insure that customers pay. Yes, both are legal. If the customer doesn't pay, then there's nothing to pay you a commission on.

            At a minimum, it appears your employer is engaging in multiple violations of wage and hour laws. Plus he's a raving jerk. File a complaint with the State for the unlawful payroll deductions and start looking for a new job. If you want to know whether there is actually an employment contract in place that's enforceable, you'll need to show the document to an attorney.

            thank you guys!!

            Comment


            • #7
              Terminated

              Just wanted to know your opinion

              i went to my dr who refered me to a psyc to deal with my work related anxity, i was perscribed medication and took monday yesterday off and today off
              with notice to the boss as he requested 24 hours before i am sick etc.

              my dr faxed him a letter saying that i am unfit to work for this week.

              he calls me and says im terminated starting tomarrow..

              now. is this unfair termination?
              2. the day that im terminated are all my commission checks due?/paychecks

              Comment


              • #8
                Since you have been there less than one year, FMLA would not apply. Accordingly, the employer does not have to hold your job open.
                Last edited by Pattymd; 06-02-2009, 04:05 PM.
                I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Pattymd View Post
                  Since you have been there less than one year, FMLA would not apply. Accordingly, the employer does not have to hold your job open.
                  i understand fmla does not apply but can he terminate me for being sick?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    and when does he have to pay my final check and commission

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by wontforgetdis View Post
                      i understand fmla does not apply but can he terminate me for being sick?
                      Yes, since FMLA is the ONLY law that could have protected your job in this instance.

                      Your final wages (including any accrued, untaken vacation) are due on the termination date. Your commission would be due as soon as the amount can be reasonably determined.
                      I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Question: yes, if he's been there less than a year FMLA does not apply, but he is in CA. What does CA law have to say? I know their laws are rather unique so I wonder if the state's threshhold is lower than federal law here.

                        Persoannly, I'd love to see a bully boss like the poster describes get nailed. Maybe we should ask VitoC to kneecap him?
                        The only thing spammers are good for is target practice.
                        No trees were destroyed in the sending of this message, but a bunch of electrons and phosphors have been a tad inconvenienced.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          CA's version of FMLA still requires the employee have one year of service.
                          I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            As far as I know, CA has no laws that provide any kind of protected leave to companies smaller than the FMLA threshold, except with regards to maternity.

                            I wonder, though, if CA's more user-friendly ADA definitions would apply.
                            The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by ElleMD View Post
                              CA's version of FMLA still requires the employee have one year of service.

                              Ah, thanks for the info. I was not sure if their threshhold was less than a year. So much for that idea.
                              The only thing spammers are good for is target practice.
                              No trees were destroyed in the sending of this message, but a bunch of electrons and phosphors have been a tad inconvenienced.

                              Comment

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