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California question: commission only mandatory meetings w/o pay, legal?

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  • California question: commission only mandatory meetings w/o pay, legal?

    I’ve found some info. online and here (FLSA) definitions of commission only employee etc. but am not certain if this is just Fed. Or if Ca. has different interpretations of it? The simple facts are:
    •100% commissioned W-2 employee, outside sales (home improvement industry)
    •Company leads, vehicle reimbursement & cell phone provided.
    •“available to work” 6 days per week. M – S. Customer apts. are weekday evenings & all day Saturdays, when residential customers are home.
    •How is the 50% of time spent selling figured? I.E. just actual face time with clients? Drive time to & from each client included? Following up with clients? Doing paper work? “Call night” doing telemarketing?

    So, the rest of the time, the company tries to control us and micro manage us and our time to keep us busy and from other employment? idle time? or whatever? So they have “required” regular meetings 3 DAYS PER WEEK in the office, and frequent call nights in the office, as well as travel to the corporate office approx. 100 miles away for the day, approx. 1 time per month, all without compensation! Is that legal in Ca.?

    Basically, we make our living between about 3 pm & 9pm M-F and 9am – 6PM on Saturdays, approx. 40 hours per week. But then, they make us come into the office three days per week for “MANDATORY training” (brain washing, control & lie-storming activities) totaling approx. 10 – 12 hours per week. And once a month, we must travel to the mother ship, errr corporate office for more intense mind control, kool aide drinking etc. And approx. 1 – 2 times per month, we must also either come into the office, errr cult branch, and place outbound solicitation calls, or go out door knocking, “spreading the good word”, errr sales calls. All of this is unpaid, mandatory and on top of our regular work load that we actually get compensated for. Oh, and we are also required to work the booth at local home & garden shows as well, unpaid. Any leads we might collect are required to go to the mother ship for distribution to the obedient ones…

    The only way they get us to conform to the above is by controlling lead flow… if you don’t play nice, drink kool aide and praise the company, you get few leads, poor leads or both… they call it “managing you out”… forcing you to quit basically.

    Do I have any leg to stand on here legally or is it time to find another place of employment?

    Thanks,
    MainLine

  • #2
    MainLine,

    I cannot find the supporting documentation (hard drive crash, causing me to wipe all files ), so please take this as it comes, which is from memory.

    You are an outside salesperson, so you are an exempt employee is my assumption, is this correct? You are not required to be paid MW, or OT?

    I remember reading somewhere, that employers can and do legally require employees to attend meetings and trainings.

    Now, as I said a moment ago this is coming from memory, I hope this will tide you over until I can locate my supporting docs, or another poster comes along who is more well versed in the exact nature of what I am trying to convey.

    May I ask though, and I don't mean to sound like a jerk, but it seems to me that you aren't terribly happy in this companies employ. Is there a compelling reason that stops you from seeking employment elsewhere?
    Not everything in America is actionable in a court of law. Please remember that attorneys are in business for profit, and they get paid regardless of whether or not you win or lose.

    I offer my knowledge and experience at no charge, I admit that I am NOT infallible, I am wrong sometimes, hopefully another responder will correct me if that is the case with the answer above, regardless, it is your responsibility to verify any and all information provided.

    Comment


    • #3
      CA rules for Outside Sales classification are a bit different then those for the feds. I would suggest that you download the CA-DLSE manual, and read section 50.6.

      http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/Manual-Instructions.htm

      I can include the federal rules for Outside Sales, but the CA rules are more favorable to the employee, and there is no obvious reason for the employee to want to use the federal rules instead.
      http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/complian...tsidesales.htm
      "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
      Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by CatBert View Post
        MainLine,

        I cannot find the supporting documentation (hard drive crash, causing me to wipe all files ), so please take this as it comes, which is from memory.

        You are an outside salesperson, so you are an exempt employee is my assumption, is this correct? You are not required to be paid MW, or OT?

        I remember reading somewhere, that employers can and do legally require employees to attend meetings and trainings.

        Now, as I said a moment ago this is coming from memory, I hope this will tide you over until I can locate my supporting docs, or another poster comes along who is more well versed in the exact nature of what I am trying to convey.

        May I ask though, and I don't mean to sound like a jerk, but it seems to me that you aren't terribly happy in this companies employ. Is there a compelling reason that stops you from seeking employment elsewhere?
        Thanks for the info. CatBert... sorry to hear about your compooter, been there, that sucks, good luck. From what I have heard from other employees, seems like we are FUBAR on this deal... that as long as we earn more than MW in our commissions, our employer can require us to work pretty much whenever, however, etc. even do things that we are not compensated for... sounds like they could even make us come in and clean toilets if they chose?

        As for the not being happy there, certainly I am not but ONLY because they put so many extemporaneous demands on our time... If they just let us "do our jobs" and sell, we would all be SO much happier worker bees, and everyone knows that happy bees produce more honey! I understand that you can't let the inmates run the asylum, but 3 meetings a week on top of our normal work load is insane! Not to mention, we got them to admit one time that the meetings are strictly to make sure we are "out of bed and working" and not doing something else... they call it training but it is 100% control! Sometimes the meetings consist of playing darts, liars dice, cards etc. They call it "team building" buts its just control. I've used the analogy before that this job is like what could be the perfect girlfriend... She is smoking hot, loves to get down etc. but she just won't shower or brush her teeth! If they would just back off of the control crap, it would be a great job. So my attempt here is to see if I have any leg to stand on to force them to back off or if not, then yes, I will seek employ elsewhere.

        Thanks

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by DAW View Post
          CA rules for Outside Sales classification are a bit different then those for the feds. I would suggest that you download the CA-DLSE manual, and read section 50.6.

          http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/Manual-Instructions.htm

          I can include the federal rules for Outside Sales, but the CA rules are more favorable to the employee, and there is no obvious reason for the employee to want to use the federal rules instead.
          http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/complian...tsidesales.htm
          Thanks DAW, i took a look at the .PDF, section 50.6. my head is still swiming a bit, I'm not real good with the "tiny lawyer words" so I will have to read, digest, re-read, analyis, re-read and contemplate that section before I will understand it!

          Thanks

          Comment


          • #6
            So as best as I can make laymen sense of that document, if you are in Ca and are considered a commission only outside sales person, you are basically a slave? Your employer does not have to pay you min. wage, even on days, weeks or months when you earn less than MW in commissions? Additionally the employer can have you run his personal errands, clean toilets, or do pretty much ANYTHING they want, deeming it "part of the job" or "training" and they don't have to pay you a penny, unless the time spent on those activities exceeds 50% of your total time spent on "sales activity"... is that about right? If so, wholly cow!

            Comment


            • #7
              If that is how you choose to interpret it, then yes, that is the way it is.
              Not everything in America is actionable in a court of law. Please remember that attorneys are in business for profit, and they get paid regardless of whether or not you win or lose.

              I offer my knowledge and experience at no charge, I admit that I am NOT infallible, I am wrong sometimes, hopefully another responder will correct me if that is the case with the answer above, regardless, it is your responsibility to verify any and all information provided.

              Comment


              • #8
                I'm just asking for help and that's how I read it...? Why the hostility? Is that not the case? My point is, if that is how the law is then there is some huge room for abuse there and that's what I'm trying to find out... In a month where I had zero revenue in sales, and therefore NO PAY CHECK I was being run ragged to meetings 3 days a week, out of town training etc., all on my own dime & own time... then the icing on the cake, the manager had us come out to his house for "manditory training" to help him landscape his yard!!! all UNPAID! I'm not trying to be difficult, I'm just trying to find out if that is even legal?

                Thanks for any help

                Comment


                • #9
                  I think the response was to your reference to slavery, which many people find offensive.

                  While you may not have all the rights you want, you have a great many more rights than a slave did, including the right to quit.
                  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


                  • #10
                    WOW, that is a bit hyper sensitive don't you think? And how do YOU know what MANY people think? It's just an expression, not a political statement... However, not to far off the mark considering the current job market. Never mind though, forget it. I came to this site hoping to get some help with my questions, not be critiqued for my hyperbole, sheesh! I didn't realize this site was so infested with liberal PC crap or I would never have joined... It's getting to the point in this country where you can't even speak without it being analyzed, deconstructed, misconstrued and critiqued from every freaking PC angle it could possibly be to be offensive to someone, somewhere. And people wonder what is wrong with this country, Good grief, lighten up people. I'm outa here and terminating my membership. I guess you get what you pay for, so much for free legal advice. Goodnight and goodbye. No wonder lawyers have such a bad reputation…

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      No, it's NOT super-sensitive and it may be "just an expression" but it is an offensive expression.
                      I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by cbg View Post
                        I think the response was to your reference to slavery, which many people find offensive.

                        While you may not have all the rights you want, you have a great many more rights than a slave did, including the right to quit.
                        BINGO! The reason cbg can make a statement such as this one is simple, most of the rational responsders on this board are friends, or at the very least friendly with one another. We understand ettitquitte and are not appreciative of offensive remarks.

                        http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/slavery

                        Your comprehension of a situation such as the one you are in, is the only reality you will ever know.

                        If you're not happy, quit, and find new employment, or start your own business, then you will learn what hard work and low pay really is.

                        BTW - if you do decide to go and terminate your membership here, as so many others have threatened to do, see yah! You're only hurting yourself by being obnoxious and strong willed. It seems if it's not your way, it's no way at all.
                        Last edited by CatBert; 03-14-2010, 01:26 PM. Reason: Added my tearful goodbye.
                        Not everything in America is actionable in a court of law. Please remember that attorneys are in business for profit, and they get paid regardless of whether or not you win or lose.

                        I offer my knowledge and experience at no charge, I admit that I am NOT infallible, I am wrong sometimes, hopefully another responder will correct me if that is the case with the answer above, regardless, it is your responsibility to verify any and all information provided.

                        Comment

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