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Employer Charged me $1000.00 to keep a customer- IL

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  • Employer Charged me $1000.00 to keep a customer- IL

    I assume this is illegal, but I'm not exactly sure how to go about this. I am a outside sales person for a company based downtown Chicago. To explain this properly, I'll need to give you some background on the sale:

    I work for a phone company, and we sell products to businesses. I signed a customer up for our service in February of 2005. At that time the product I was selling retails at $454.00 per month to have. I was paid $216.00 in commission on the service. It took my company so long to get the service up and running, that by the time they went to install it (almost 7 months later) the price had jumped to $511.00 a month (due to some negotiations with our underlying carriers resulted in higher wholesale pricing to us). Upon seeing that my company was now, in their words "servicing an account under acceptable profit margins", they charged me $216 dollars for the commission paid to me, plus a $1000.00 to cover the loss on the account in order to make the account profitable for the company. Without my knowledge or telling me that the account was no longer profitable, they garnished my next commission check $1216.00 to pay for it. I never agreed to pay for this customer, nor was I ever informed that I would have to pay $1200.00 to keep this customer. Let's be honest, who would pay your employer a $1000.00 to retain a customer with them? Nor was it ever outlined in my compensation package that I would have to cover the cost of a customer that, in the event was no longer profitable for the company.

    What are the legalities of all of this? And if it is Illegal who do I contact to report them?



  • #2
    Well, first of all, this was not a garnishment in the legal meaning of the term. A garnishment is a court order directed to the employer to withhold from the employee to meet the employee's debt to a third party.

    Now, did the employer reduce your regular wages (assuming you receive some type of noncommission wages), your commission payment for the period, or make the deduction from your net pay (after taxes)? The answer makes a difference.
    I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.


    • #3
      They made a deduction from my commission payment for the period. Not my payroll pay.


      • #4
        That's too bad, then, because generally speaking, commission plans are not regulated by employment law, so the Dept. of Labor would probably not accept a claim in this situation for unpaid "wages". If you have a copy of the commission plan or agreement, you should take it to an attorney versed in contract law to see if what they did might be a violation of a contractual obligation, in which case a civil suit might be in order, but not a wage claim handled by the state DOL.
        I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.


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