Complete Labor Law Poster for $24.95
from www.LaborLawCenter.com, includes
State, Federal, & OSHA posting requirements

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Purchasing my job back

Collapse
This topic is closed.
X
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Purchasing my job back

    A third person has been fired via email, after hours in my office. The insurance agency I work for receives commission for every policy we sell or renew. The reason that the most recent guy was fired was because he lost an account even though that is the nature of the business. He showed up today to fight for his job and the owner told him that he can stay employed if he pays the company back the lost commission ($2,000). The owner will be taking $100 out of his check each week until the $2,000 is payed. Is this legal? I need to know so that when this happens to me I know what to do.

    Thank you!!

  • #2
    Perrieka,

    You probably would need to talk attorney to determine the legality. Just speculating, I would think that if both parties agree, that the agreement does not conflict with another existing contract or policy, and it's legal then I'd think you would be fine. If it were me I would have to have several additional conditions.

    For example, I'd want the funds held in escrow until the entire sum is accumulated. If I leave or terminated prior to that date, the fund are returned to me. I would also want some guarantee (3-6 months) of employment beyond that date. That would keep the boss from firing me right after he gets the comission back. Just some thoughts.

    MikeCJ

    Comment


    • #3
      Personally, sounds like extortion, or at least a kickback, to me.

      Is the deduction being made before tax (from gross pay) or after tax (from net pay)? Did the employee sign anything?

      This is an insurance salesperson, correct? Does this person make the sales in the office or outside of the office?
      I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

      Comment


      • #4
        I don't like the way this sounds either. You might want to talk to an attorney.

        However, please answer Patty's questions & we'll go from there. Thanks.
        Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

        Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

        Comment


        • #5
          I believe that the deductions are being taken out after taxes and nothing was signed. I don't believe that there's any type of kickback. It's more of a scare tactic used by the owner to keep us in line. When I voiced my concerns to him about the unfairness of it he compared the situation to raising children, how they must be punished when they misbehave.

          We're not actually sales people at all. Our official title is underwriter and most of our time is spent assessing risk, quoting and renewing existing policies. If the insured finds a lower rate with another agency/carrier they will most likely switch which leads us to the current situation.

          It's a small office of about 25 people with no trained HR professional. The owner is irrational at times and unfortunately these types of things happen frequently.

          Comment


          • #6
            Betty3, with your insurance industry experience, would you see this as an employee who would be exempt perhaps?

            I'm going somewhere with this.

            OP, are you paid a salaried or on a hourly basis? Do you get comissions or other uplifts based on performance?
            Last edited by Pattymd; 11-19-2009, 05:24 AM.
            I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

            Comment


            • #7
              Well, how we're paid is another issue altogether.

              We punch a time clock and will get docked to the minute for time worked under forty hours but we never receive any overtime for time worked over forty hours. Whether we're exempt or non exempt has never been clear.

              We do receive a small commission on any new business that we bring in. The commission is paid 3 months after the new business is secured. BUT in order to get paid the commission, we must also work a minimum five hour day, one Saturday in the month that the policy is bound. We must punch in and out on the Saturday but we do not receive our hourly rate.

              Comment


              • #8
                Do you want to pursue the pay issue?

                The reason I was asking is that the FLSA specifically prohibits deductions from salaried exempt employees for "quality or quantity of work".
                I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I'm glad to hear that there is a clear cut law protecting us in this situation. I'll be sure to keep a copy of this law handy because losing accounts is inevitable. I will also make my coworkers aware of it as well hoping that maybe together, we can stop this unfair practice before it gets too out of hand.

                  My only concern with fighting it is that unfortunately the alternative is unemployment.

                  Thank you for your help and if anyone can provide any additional information that may empower us please pass it along.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Pattymd View Post
                    Betty3, with your insurance industry experience, would you see this as an employee who would be exempt perhaps?
                    Patty, I'm sorry. I must have missed this thread earlier. As a life ins. underwriter I was exempt but we didn't bring in new busi. or get commissions -- that was the agts. (though OP said most of the time is spent as an underwriter)

                    PS - From OP's posts, sure sounds like exempt.
                    Last edited by Betty3; 11-19-2009, 03:26 PM. Reason: add PS
                    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

                    Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Betty3 View Post
                      Patty, I'm sorry. I must have missed this thread earlier. As a life ins. underwriter I was exempt but we didn't bring in new busi. or get commissions -- that was the agts. (though OP said most of the time is spent as an underwriter)

                      PS - From OP's posts, sure sounds like exempt.
                      OK, then going under that "sounds like", is a good thing for this poster when it comes to this proposed deduction.

                      (a) General rule. An employee will be considered to be paid on a
                      ``salary basis'' within the meaning of these regulations if the
                      employee regularly receives each pay period on a weekly, or less
                      frequent basis, a predetermined amount constituting all or part of the
                      employee's compensation, which amount is not subject to reduction
                      because of variations in the quality or quantity of the work performed
                      .
                      http://www.dol.gov/dol/allcfr/ESA/Ti...CFR541.602.htm
                      I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        It seems like they are treating OP as non-exempt & exempt per post #7 - can't have it both ways.

                        Just from what is posted "sounds/seems" exempt.
                        Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

                        Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Betty3 View Post
                          It seems like they are treating OP as non-exempt & exempt per post #7 - can't have it both ways.

                          Just from what is posted "sounds/seems" exempt.

                          Yeah, Betty3, didn't want to get into that unless the OP wanted to discuss it further.
                          I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I hear you.
                            Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

                            Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Reduction in salary... is this legal?

                              Here we go again. I'm replying to this thread because there's some history and the situation is similar. Once again, an account has been lost. My employeer has switched tactics from firing you if you lose an account to docking your pay if you lose an account. This has happened to a couple of people in the office. Usually it's $100 taken from your paycheck for 4 weeks. I happened to lose a larger account today because they got a lower premium from one of our competitors. This is the nature of the business but the owner of my agency takes it personally. However, because this is a larger account I will be penalized with a 10% salary reduction. Can he do this? Is it legal? I'm sick over it.

                              The matter of whether we are exempt or non-exempt employees is still not clear. We do not receive any overtime pay but we are docked for time not worked. Our job requirements range from account management, processing renewals, underwriting, accounting, sales, etc. We do it all! Please let me know if there is any other information that you need.

                              Thank you!

                              Comment

                              The LaborLawTalk.com forum is intended for informational use only and should not be relied upon and is not a substitute for legal advice. The information contained on LaborLawTalk.com are opinions and suggestions of members and is not a representation of the opinions of LaborLawTalk.com. LaborLawTalk.com does not warrant or vouch for the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any postings or the qualifications of any person responding. Please consult a legal expert or seek the services of an attorney in your area for more accuracy on your specific situation.
                              Working...
                              X