As an employee in California, you have certain rights and protections when it comes to receiving commissions for your work. Sometimes employers may withhold commissions for various reasons, and you may wonder if they infringe on your legal rights as an employee. Under California law, it is unlawful for employers to withhold or deduct wages that the employee has already earned and must pay earned commissions in a timely manner.
If you have earned commissions that your employer withheld, delayed, or imposed any conditions upon payment, speak with an experienced employment law lawyer at Blackstone Law to assess your case. You may be entitled to damages, including backpay, lawyer fees, and penalty fines due to a violation of your legal rights.
California Commission Laws
A commissioned employee in California is a worker who receives a percentage of the price of goods or services they sell or a fixed amount of each sale. As such, they are entitled to receive their commission when they are earned, regardless of if they are still employed by the company.
Employers may use commission as an incentive to drive sales and keep their employees motivated. As a form of earned employee wage, employers may not withhold or deduct commission pay that has been agreed upon. It is also unlawful to delay payments, especially in instances of cash shortages, loss of equipment, or general business expenses. If an employer fails to pay a commission on time, the employee may be entitled to damages.
When an Employer May Withhold Commission
In certain circumstances, your employer may withhold your commission in California, including the following:
- If there is a dispute over whether you earned the commission
- A mistake or error in the calculation of commissions
- Debt owed on a commission advance if the employee leaves the company before earning enough to pay back the advance
- Exceptions in the commission agreement
If you signed a commission agreement, your employer may have certain exceptions tied to the employee’s sales that may impact commission withholding. However, it is essential to understand your legal rights as a commissioned employee. An employer must act in good faith and not use exceptions to avoid paying earned commissions.
Can an Employer Change Commission Rate Without Notice?
Your employer may implement a new or modified commission plan at any time. However, they may not enact or modify a plan without providing you with a notification, a copy of the new plan, and a signature. The document should also include details of any deductions from the earned commission.
Speak With the Leading Employment Lawyers at Blackstone Law
If you believe your employer has unlawfully withheld your commissions, you may be eligible to seek legal recourse for damages with the help of an experienced employment lawyer at Blackstone Law. We can help you understand your legal options and guide you through the legal process with honest, dedicated representation. Retain our legal services as soon as possible to improve your chances of success.