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Draw against commission

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  • Draw against commission


    I was given a base salary of $48,000 when I took a sales job 18 months ago. Right around my 1-year anniversary, I was told by my employer that my base salary of $48,000 would change to a draw against commission.

    I am just about ready to leave the company for another position, and am almost certain that my profit over the last six months is less than what I have been paid.

    I was never given anything in writing, nor did I sign anything, regarding the change from salary to draw against commission, and would like to know if I would be responsible for paying the employer any difference.

    My employer is in New York, and I live/work out of Connecticut.

    Thank You,


  • #2
    Hi Tom,

    That is an interesting situation.

    I'm curious as to why you say that you are probably in a deficit position. Most salespeople are given commission reports so they know for sure where they are.

    If your hesitation is because you simply have not received your most recent report and are not sure where you will fall, then you could possibly owe back the deficit.

    But, if your hesitation is because you never received a comission report - then there is a chance that your payroll never got formally changed to the draw structure. In which case you would definitely not owe anything as your payroll was still salary.

    If the first case is true, and you are in is very very common for companies to forgive the deficits of departing salespeople. Sales Managers have an business (but not a legal) obligation to actively monitor the performance of their salespeople, and to fire the ones that fall too deep in the hole or never get out of the hole.

    In the rare case that you find yourself in a position where you are asked to repay your deficit, I think you have a good case of arguing about how you were never notified of the change....but chances are you will not need to do so.

    Draw deficits are generally not seen to be the same as improper salary overpayments.

    If I were you...I wouldn't bring the subject up at all. If the subject does come up, say nothing and let us know.


    • #3
      Thank you for the input, Lady K. You are 18 months, I received 1 sales report....and none in the last 7 months. That is why I am not sure. It's a small company...not that that justifies no sales report. I'm not proud I didn't cover my salary, but I learned a lot in the process.

      I do not think they formally changed my pay. I never received anything in writing, or even email. There's no change on my pay stub, either.

      No, I'm not planning to bring it up!


      • #4
        FWIW, I think you'll be fine with your pay.

        Probably everyone that has been in sales (including myself) has not made numbers for whatever reason. It's all part of the game...even if it's not the best part of it.

        Best of luck with your new job...with your outlook and attitude, I bet you'll kick butt


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