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Salary taken out of my commision and more... Washington

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  • Salary taken out of my commision and more... Washington

    I was hired on March 08; I was told that I was getting $2000.00 a month plus 25% commission out of the profit. Sounded good to me, but not better that my old job. At the time I needed to get a job where my schedule would work with my new baby and day care. So I took it. Two week went by, and one the employees came to talk to us, and asked us if we understood how we get paid. Three of us got hired at the same time, so we were having a little chat when he came along and volunteer that info to us. So he explained that, although we get paid salary, that salary gets deducted from out commission. We were confused. So yes, after few months and too late for me to quit, I decided to stay since the schedule was what is more important for me.


    Few months went by, my boss brought to our attention that we were taking way too many credit cards. She said that she was paying too much credit card fees. So from that day on she said that we are paying for credit cards fees. So now credit card fees are taking out of our paycheck too. Then she was paying too much money for delivery and shipping fees. So now she was taking those out of our paycheck. We didn’t get paid for mileage to go to trainings.


    I got fired on Oct 3rd, don’t ask why, I’ll have a new thread about the firing part. She calls me to her office and I got fired and tell me to give her all the jobs I was working on, so she can assign my jobs to other sales people. I told her that I had to big jobs I was closing next week and I wanted to have those assigned to my friend Emily. She asked me why, so I told her that I was afraid my customer would not buy from someone else. She asked how much the job was, told her was over 30k. I saw $ signs on her eyes. I went to my desk to gather some of my stuff and went back to her office to turn in my keys. She was kind of hesitant and ask me if I would like to come back next week to sell that job and she would pay me strict commission and I had until to 8th to close the deal to get paid on 20th pay check. I accepted the offer and met with customer couple of times for and close the deal on the 8th. The whole office was happy, I was happy to get a least a good paycheck and be able to take my time to find a new job or even to be able to open a business from home.


    The 20th comes by, I call the office to pick up my check and I was told that I was not getting paid until the jobs were done. OMG, I was devastated. I went to office and tried to talk to my boss and she refused and had her sister (office manager) come and talk to me. I told her that was unfair, I should get paid as usual, and that for the jobs to be done can take months. As of today, I have not gotten paid and DOL said that they can’t do anything because is just commission. I have to take them to small claims. I can’t do the court thing. The will no respond to my emails asking about the development of the jobs. Is that legal? In case that you wonder what I do. I’m a kitchen designer, and we meet with customer and spend months doing the planning of a kitchen. Once customer makes up their mind and is a done deal. They paid for their order in full and there are no refunds, since orders are all custom order specifically for them.
    Please help and I’m sorry is too long. I hope this make sense.

    “E”
    Last edited by mom2juju; 11-22-2008, 08:53 PM.

  • #2
    I can not offer you any suggestions but if you can redo your situation and paragragh it it will be easier to read and for those that have the expertise in these matters to understand and explain to you what your situation is and possible avenues you can use.

    Walls of texts are difficult in nature to understand hence the paragraphing:}

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Actongue View Post
      I can not offer you any suggestions but if you can redo your situation and paragragh it it will be easier to read and for those that have the expertise in these matters to understand and explain to you what your situation is and possible avenues you can use.

      Walls of texts are difficult in nature to understand hence the paragraphing:}
      Sorry about that.

      Comment


      • #4
        OK, we have several issues here.

        "Salary being deducted from commissions" is basically a draw. If the agreement is structured correctly, the employer can deduct draws from commissions payable in full IF the employee meets the criteria for the outside sales exemption. If inside sales, it can also be done, but not to the extent that it would bring the employee below minimum wage. In reading further down in your post, you say you are a kitchen designer. Do you actually SELL or do you just meet with the client and do the design after the preliminary sale is made by someone else?

        Relative to the credit card fees, the only provision I know of where those can be deducted from pay is for tips charged on a credit card by customers of directly tipped employees. As a salesperson, this would not apply. However, if the commission agreement provides for deducting these fees from your commission, it would probably be legal.

        The boss could assign your accounts to whomever she wished (although you may have had a good business reason for requesting them be assigned to your friend). Whether or not you can be paid commission only for that additional time is going to depend on the answers to the questions at the end of my first full paragraph.

        It sounds like the state DOL determined that you were an exempt employee under the outside sales classification and therefore, there is no minimum wage nor guaranteed salary regulation for them to enforce.

        Whether or not commissions are due is basically a function of when the commission agreement states that they are earned. A few states' laws are very specific about this definition; it appears WA law is not.

        Before we talk about whether you may have a court action, we need the answers to my earlier questions. The DOL may be right and it MAY be your only option, so don't rule it out too quickly. How much money are we talking about?

        Just an aside, but that sounds like a fun job. You might want to consider starting your own business. Did you sign any type of noncompete?
        Last edited by Pattymd; 11-23-2008, 06:09 AM.
        I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

        Comment


        • #5
          "Salary being deducted from commissions" is basically a draw. If the agreement is structured correctly, the employer can deduct draws from commissions payable in full IF the employee meets the criteria for the outside sales exemption. If inside sales, it can also be done, but not to the extent that it would bring the employee below minimum wage. In reading further down in your post, you say you are a kitchen designer. Do you actually SELL or do you just meet with the client and do the design after the preliminary sale is made by someone else? No, I do everything, I do the meetings, design and do the final sell. I also work in a office, I never go out to meet with clients outside of office.

          Relative to the credit card fees, the only provision I know of where those can be deducted from pay is for tips charged on a credit card by customers of directly tipped employees. As a salesperson, this would not apply. However, if the commission agreement provides for deducting these fees from your commission, it would probably be legal. There was never written agreement on deducting those fees. She decided to do after few months down the line.

          The boss could assign your accounts to whomever she wished (although you may have had a good business reason for requesting them be assigned to your friend). Whether or not you can be paid commission only for that additional time is going to depend on the answers to the questions at the end of my first full paragraph. I was the one who asked to assigned to my friend. But once she saw how much it was she changed her mind and asked me to close my self.

          It sounds like the state DOL determined that you were an exempt employee under the outside sales classification and therefore, there is no minimum wage nor guaranteed salary regulation for them to enforce. I guess the just assumed what I did, since I did not get an opportunity to explain what I do.

          Whether or not commissions are due is basically a function of when the commission agreement states that they are earned. A few states' laws are very specific about this definition; it appears WA law is not. She told me that I was able to close those sales by the 8th I would get pay in my 20th paycheck.

          Before we talk about whether you may have a court action, we need the answers to my earlier questions. The DOL may be right and it MAY be your only option, so don't rule it out too quickly. How much money are we talking about? Approx $4,000. to $5000. Enough to be able to do something from home. I'm a single mom and she left me out on the cold.

          Just an aside, but that sounds like a fun job. You might want to consider starting your own business. Did you sign any type of noncompete?
          Its a very fun job, I love what I do and I've been doing it for many years. As far as I remember I did not sign anything.

          Thanks so much

          E
          __________________
          I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

          Comment


          • #6
            Since you never go to the client's offices to make sales, you don't qualify for the outside sales exemption, which is the only way you could legally be paid commission only, without regards to hours worked. I'm not thinking there would be any other exempt classification that would apply except maybe the Professional one (Administrative is probably off the table). http://www.dol.gov/esa/whd/regs/comp...a_overview.pdf

            Once you read that, if you're not seeing that any of the classifications would likely apply, you might try contacting the state DOL again. The fact that you were not able to describe your job duties implies that they didn't have the information needed to even determine if a claim through them would be appropriate.

            At this point, though, I'm actually going to suggest you see an attorney versed in employment law. It's not impossible that the verbal statements could constitute an enforceable contract. You can usually get a free or low-cost initial consultation through a referral from the Lawyer's Referral Service of the local Bar Assoc.

            Good luck.
            I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Pattymd View Post
              Since you never go to the client's offices to make sales, you don't qualify for the outside sales exemption, which is the only way you could legally be paid commission only, without regards to hours worked. I'm not thinking there would be any other exempt classification that would apply except maybe the Professional one (Administrative is probably off the table). http://www.dol.gov/esa/whd/regs/comp...a_overview.pdf

              Once you read that, if you're not seeing that any of the classifications would likely apply, you might try contacting the state DOL again. The fact that you were not able to describe your job duties implies that they didn't have the information needed to even determine if a claim through them would be appropriate.

              At this point, though, I'm actually going to suggest you see an attorney versed in employment law. It's not impossible that the verbal statements could constitute an enforceable contract. You can usually get a free or low-cost initial consultation through a referral from the Lawyer's Referral Service of the local Bar Assoc.

              Good luck.

              Thanks so much for all your help. I'm glad i found this website.

              Comment

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