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  • General Building contractor issue California

    Ok so I was working for a small general contractor as a outside salesman selling solar, windows, concrete, decks and patios etc

    I resigned my position about a month ago but I still have outstanding commissions from jobs that are still being done.
    Under the contractors policies. There are some jobs that are considered "par" jobs meaning that the salesman gets paid 10% of the sale price of the job. Others are considered profit jobs like solar etc that the salesman basically makes 20% of profit after expenses and such. With that said profit jobs are in the 20 age par pricing book that was issued upon hire. This contractor uses all sub-contractors for his work. So we go out and sell the job and then the subs come in and bid the job according to our par pricing and such.

    So to the numbers. This particular job that I have a dispute with:
    It was a decking job that sold for $21,000. This is a par job which is in the par book. My commission should be $2,100
    With the par pricing it is set that the contractor or my employer makes double what the sub bids out. What happened was the sub contractor came in and bid the job higher than the half par pricing and also ran into some serious issues on the job having done a weeks worth of work and then had to tear it back up andd redo it wth all new materials. This got the prices far over the par pricing. SO at the end of the day the contractor probably only made 4-5K in profit versus the 10K or so he should have made. With this he felt like he needed to change it to profit job on me versus par pricing which is significantly less. So instead of paying me the $2100 I am rightfully owed upon par pricing policy he gave me only $770. A difference of $1330 which I feel is still owed to me. Any thoughts on if I have a case against him. I have copy of original contract with client as well as par pricing book that shows pricing per square foot, linear ft, etc.

  • #2
    Laymans suggestion :

    File a wage claim for the commissions due ..look up the CA DOL steps and rules .

    A copy of the commission plan or contract would be a useful docuement to preserve

    CA tightened the rules about a year ago as to commission plans , AB 1396 ...at least as posted you seem to earned the commission per par.

    The changes to,code eliminated the triple damage recovery..I don't know the new score as to,damages or delays .

    Drop your points about the builders problems..if you earned the commission per the plan/contract/deal ..little else matters..and if it may, it's up to employer to raise same ..and in general unless the plan allows for retroactive adjustments it's too late for employer to undue the commission. Your job is to make the point that you earned the commission per the par rules and math as were in effect.

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    • #3
      OP please ignore Raster, he knows nothing about employment/independent contractor law.

      As an independent contractor, you are not covered by employment laws. As a result, attempting to file a claim with the CA DLSE (or "DOL" as Raster incorrectly calls it) would be a complete and utter waste of time.

      Your legal recourse here is to file suit in small claims court.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Raster View Post
        Laymans suggestion :

        File a wage claim for the commissions due ..look up the CA DOL steps and rules .

        A copy of the commission plan or contract would be a useful docuement to preserve

        CA tightened the rules about a year ago as to commission plans , AB 1396 ...at least as posted you seem to earned the commission per par.

        The changes to,code eliminated the triple damage recovery..I don't know the new score as to,damages or delays .

        Drop your points about the builders problems..if you earned the commission per the plan/contract/deal ..little else matters..and if it may, it's up to employer to raise same ..and in general unless the plan allows for retroactive adjustments it's too late for employer to undue the commission. Your job is to make the point that you earned the commission per the par rules and math as were in effect.
        I do have the signed contract from homeowner and also the par book stating all prices and such. Could he chafe policy of his jobs on the initial hiring document. As well contractors reputation is huge. Can I tell him that I have prior clients and myself that will and can past unfavorable comments online about his practices and workmanship?

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        • #5
          So far the OP appears to be an outside commission salesperson not an independent contractor?

          Comment


          • #6
            At least as I see it, as an employee you have a beef about earned but unpaid commissions ..and you can file a claim via DLSE..the instructions and forms are on line .

            Getting into a negative contest about posting derogatory stuff about your employer on line serves no good purpose and might hurt ...

            Copies of that written commission plan policy for sales staff may be important ..why ..because the CA rules as per AB 1396 say so terms of employers burden.

            Comment


            • #7
              Raster, OP is an independent contractor. Period.

              amarlls, please ignore everything Raster says. Raster has been temporarily banned at least once recently for providing incorrect and/or misleading information, and is well on his way to being banned permanently in the near future.

              As you've been advised before, your legal recourse is through small claims court.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by eerelations View Post
                Raster, OP is an independent contractor. Period.

                amarlls, please ignore everything Raster says. Raster has been temporarily banned at least once recently for providing incorrect and/or misleading information, and is well on his way to being banned permanently in the near future.

                As you've been advised before, your legal recourse is through small claims court.
                Thank you eerelations.

                I do not have and most likely will not be able to aqcuire my initial hire contract. Do you think with the contract I have and par book sheet I have a good case in small claims court? I just dont want to get there an he pull some shady move to try and win. I have attached contract and par book page pertaining to job on this postClick image for larger version

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                • #9
                  Click image for larger version

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                  What it breaks down to is

                  decking and framing 12x30 = 360 sqft x $29 sqft = $10440
                  Posts at pads $2000
                  Trex Railing 54 linear ft at $140 a linear foot = $7560

                  Total for job pricing should be $20,000 even. Right at par

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I can't really say for sure about your chances, however even if you don't have backup to prove he owes you a commission, the judge will certainly understand that you probably weren't working for free (who does this stuff for free?). Do you have records of past payments from this guy? These will help prove you weren't a volunteer.

                    I recommend you first send a demand letter by certified mail (as you were advised on the other forum). The letter should state you expect your money (specify the amount) within 30 days or you will file in small claims court. If you don't get the money within 30 days, file your claim. The absolute worst that can happen is that you will lose the case and will be out the filing fees (minimal). If you win the case, you get your money plus filing fee reimbursement (make sure you ask for that when you file the claim).

                    My opinion is that it's worth a shot.

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                    • #11
                      OP..perhaps it's with your other posts or I missed it...but what you post here does not seem support one way or another that you are a true independent contractor. repost...bring me up to speed?

                      As an employee you probably have stronger levers as to unpaid wages/commissions .

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Raster View Post
                        OP..perhaps it's with your other posts or I missed it...but what you post here does not seem support one way or another that you are a true independent contractor. repost...bring me up to speed?

                        As an employee you probably have stronger levers as to unpaid wages/commissions .
                        I really do not know what you consider it. self employed/independent/consultant etc. We are 1099 employees if that helps. Work off straight commission. I am just going to follow through with small claims court

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          There is no such thing legally as a "1099 employee". All workers are legally either employees or independent contractors (IC). The people who are paying you are acting like you are an IC.
                          "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
                          Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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