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100% Commission W-2 Quite CONFUSED, but a simple story - input please?

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  • 100% Commission W-2 Quite CONFUSED, but a simple story - input please?

    As a 100% commission income earner, my employer only fires someone for misconduct - I don't cost them a dime to have employed.

    The industry that I am in has completely dried up (i.e. no sales = no income). I've been trying to fight the good fight for too long and be the positive sales guy, but reality is reality and I've got to feed my family.

    From everything I've read about commission sales and UI, my take away is that I'm out of luck in being approved for benefits because I am - technically - employed. I'M NOT MAKING ANY MONEY ($5k/ytd, $40k 2008, $75k 2007, $100k+ 2006), but I am "employed".

    Do I fit in to some UI box with this scenario??

    The reason for not making $$ is not because of cut commission structure or anything like that....there's just no one who wants what's being sold.

    I feel very trapped, but also that I may be missing something that would allow me to get benefits. I haven't been to the office in over 2 months and no one's even called or e-mailed. I have been actively seeking a new career/job most of the year but not had luck...

    I feel like I'm the kind of situation that UI was designed for but everything I've read so far says "NO" - really need some clarity - thanks in advance

  • #2
    I take it you work outside sales?

    You can always apply, but it is unlikely UI benefits would be granted. You are, after all, still working. The fact that there are no sales being made (for whatever reason) doesn't change that.

    You didn't post your state as requested, but I have heard anecdeotal evidence from several individuals in different states who were in your exact same situation and UI benefits were denied, even after appeal.
    I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.


    • #3
      Thanks for replying - I did complete the drop down state list and chose Oklahoma so not sure what the challenge is there....but yes it is outside sales, no leads provided. Been in the same line of work for 9 years...crazy.

      So, even though I feel the same effects that someone that has been laid off, down sized - whatever - feels, there are 2 totally different sets of rules? The general sense I get is the same you gave - likely denied. That's frustrating because the same reason regular wage/salary earners were laid off (which ultimately at some level is due to lack of SALES by the company) and are no longer earning income is the same reason I'm lacking income and even needing to check in to UI....lack of sales, lack of income.

      I know it's state by state, but is there not a function of the UI process that allows a person to show historical pay vs. current pay as evidence of UI need? The supposed purpose of the program? I could present some pretty stark numbers to someone (see original thread).

      Or am I just simply a victim of choosing the wrong industry to invest the past 9 years and that's pretty much that?

      It seems that the only circumstance that would allow 100% commission income earners to be approved for UI benefits would be 1) if the company closed down or 2) if there was good cause due to employer harassment/misconduct. Very frustrating...

      I know the ultimate answer is to simply file and see what happens, but like many others, I am somewhat worried about doing so and the rumor grapevine that could ensue


      • #4
        The problem is that in no state is UI a needs-based program. If you qualify, you get it; if you don't qualify you don't. It doesn't matter if you need it or not; you can qualify if you don't need it and you can NOT qualify if you do. The law simply doesn't care whether you need it or not - it only cares if you qualify.

        You can certainly apply for UI and see what happens. There is no penalty for being wrong and the worst that can happen is that they will say no. But it's not going to be based on needs - only on qualifications.
        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.


        • #5
          I'm with you.... Just seems that maybe the "qualifications" are not consistent across the board for folks in a commission sales environment


          • #6
            The "qualifications" aren't any different for commissioned-only workers than for any other workers. You have to either be terminated for a reason that does not disqualify you or (for partial benefits) have your hours reduced by the employer to a certain level (differs by state).
            I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.


            • #7
              sales and UI

              Maybe you can get your employer to lay you off for lack of work. That may qualify you.
              Bob Bollinger, Attorney
              Board Certified Specialist in NC Workers' Compensation Law
              Charlotte, NC


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