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Law Help needed in PA Pennsylvania

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  • Law Help needed in PA Pennsylvania

    I work for a large retailer in Pennsylvania. I'm considerded a sales consultant. I specialize in hardware sales. I've been working in this position since January of 09 and so far every single pay check theyve sent me has been wrong in some fashion. My first 2 pay checks i wasnt "live" on the sales floor so i was supposed to be making their training wage of $8 an hour. They "forgot" to put it on my check. I fought for a little over 3 weeks to get that money back. The following paycheck they "forgot" to include my commision pay, They literally had to put money in my check so it would show i made minimum wage. The HR rep (or lack there of) said she would fix it only to tell me 2 days later i had only made $60 in commision (which is a lie). We are also supposed to receive commision on our store to web sales, I have NEVER gotten commision off of my store to web sales and i am still fighting with them to try and get it back. I was also sent to another town 3 hours away for Garage Door training, That of which i was supposed to receive training pay for the first 4 hours ($8) and MET pay for the rest. All in all i was clocked in for 8 and a half hours. That was 2 weeks ago and The HR rep keeps avoiding me, My department manager is being down right hostile with me about the issue. I talked to the store manager about it and she seems to have little or no interest in helping me get my money. This is the first problem.

    I make $6 an hour plus commision off of sales, So when im not selling or we're dead i make $6 an hour (of course if i had a god awful two weeks they would add an "adjustment" so id make atleast minimum wage). We recently got thrown into a new store disrict so everyone is kind of on edge with our new District manager. As soon as we got moved they started making us do all kinds of "maintenence" in the store. Myself and numerous other employees were set to take EVERYTHING off of the racks in the store and scrape them with razor blades to clean them. Myself and another employee were sent to stand in our mall and hand out catalogs to people passing. And as i said, MY department manager is VERY hostile towards me. I dont want to make it seem like im lazy or greedy. But im paid $6 an hour to sell, which is fine as long as i am on the floor selling or atleast trying to. But pulling me off the floor to stand out in malls and hand stuff out and scrape shelves with razor blades doesnt seem legal when you're commision based. No other commision based departments have had to do this type of work. Just our hardware department.

    Between that and my on going pay (or lack there of) issues, This job isnt panning out the way id hoped. But i cant just up and leave due to bills ect. So im under their gun until i can find a way out. ANY advice is greatly appreciated. Thoughts or comments are welcome as well. I'll take anything at this point.
    Last edited by primatesforever; 04-26-2009, 05:49 AM.

  • #2
    Please edit your post to remove the name of the employer. It's not important to your question and we have had reports of employees being (legally) fired for complaining about their named employer on the Internet. Plus, it's against the rules of this forum. Thanks.

    The commission issue is between you and the employer. Generally speaking, the state DOL does not get involved in contractual issues unless it involves a failure to pay minimum wage.

    My understanding is that your base pay cannot, however, be less than minimum wage. Commissions are in addition to minimum wage, not instead of.

    Since your base pay is currently less than minimum wage, overtime pay is required at your "regular rate of pay". There is an exception for retail establishments if your base rate of pay is at least minimum wage AND your commissions are at least 1/2 of your total pay for a representative period (say, a month), but this exception does not appear to apply.

    I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.


    • #3
      There are basically the so-called "normal" rules, which are minimum wage and overtime. Then there is the optional Retail/Service Establishment rules. It is generally the employers choice as to which set of rules to use. The trick is however if the Retail exception rules are not followed to the letter, then the "normal" rules must be. Based on what the OP has said, neither set of rules seems to be followed.

      Now PA could also have it's own rules. PA is not my state and I have no idea what rules (if any) PA has effecting this situation. There is a least one state (CA) that apparently does not allow the Retail rules to be used at all.

      I am going to suggest that the OP take a hard look at the Retail rules earlier cited. If the OP is handy with spreadsheets, both methods uses the workweek. Prepare a spreadsheet with actual hours worked, then figure out the minimum pay requirements under both the "normal" and Retail methods. Do that (if possible) for a number of workweeks. If the OP can show that the employer is failing to follow either method, then the employer is a strong position to either file a wage claim, or small claims court action, or general court action. Or even talk to the employer if it is felt that an honest error was made and that the employer will not negatively react to the topic being raised.
      "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
      Philip K. **** (1928-1982)


      • #4
        Being that PA is now my state (my name here not withstanding), I can tell you, OP, that PA does not prohibit the use of the retail exception.
        I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.


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