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Commission reporting/earning questions

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#1 Reister


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Posted 03 February 2013 - 09:46 AM


I can't find much information on these topics that I believe I am being taken advantage of. I am employee of a small company for 3 years, and am paid both salary and commission.

I never see a commission report unless I am persistent in asking for it, and even then, I don't get a real report, just a verbal statement of what they paid me on. And of course it never adds up right.

Effective last year in May, they changed all the outside sales staff to a set percentage of the gross margin of the departmental revenue/cogs report. They will show me that report when I insist on seeing it, but it's marked up with other territories being removed from it, so it's really veiled and hidden in my opinion. I also just learned they haven't been including one of the product groups we sell, ever.

Here are my questions if anyone can help:
[*]Does AB 1136 apply on this setup? Is my employer required to provide a report and signed receipt of the employee for every commission check? My situation doesn't sound like profit-sharing or a temporary bonus, when on my check it clearly states Commission.
[*]For 2 years past, before AB 1136, I was just paid a commission on my check, with no information as to what/why/how. I had a contract, but they never gave me a report of my commission earnings. Looking at monthly reports with gross sales/cogs, I outsold most of the monthly commission checks, yet when I inquired to see the report or numbers, they took offense, became defensive and basically told me no one else questions or challenges their commission and maybe this isn't the place for me. Here's my question, if I had a black and white contract prior to AB 1136, is my employer required by law to pay commission based on that contract? I was told the California Labor Law isn't applicable to Commissions, i.e. commmissions aren't madatory even if agreements are signed.
[*]What can I do to ensure I get a fair shake? I do love my job, and besides this, love working for the company. But I can't help feeling slighted or being taken advantage of.

#2 adjusterjack


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Posted 03 February 2013 - 12:26 PM

The only AB1136 that I found is this one:


Which has nothing to do with wages and commissions.

Your going to have to cite an actually statute number or provide a link to it before we can tell if there are any statutory issues.

Beyond that, all I can tell you is that if you had a real contract (not just a confirmation of employment) then you potentially have a cause of action for a lawsuit if the employer breached the contract.

Unfortunately, if you take that kind of action, you'll probably end up losing your job over it.

As for loving your job and loving your company, stop being so naive. If the employer is screwing you, seek employment elsewhere. You owe them nothing.

Warning: Legal issues are complicated. Explanations and comments here are simplified and might not fully explain the ramifications of your particular issue. I am not a lawyer. I do not give legal advice. I make comments based on my knowledge and experience. I guarantee nothing. If you act on my comments without the advice of an attorney, you do so at your own risk.

#3 Tax_Counsel


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Posted 03 February 2013 - 04:04 PM

Does AB 1136 apply on this setup?

I think you may be referring to AB 1396, which is the recent legislation modifying California Labor Code (LC) section 2751 dealing with commission pay arrangements. As Jack points out, the recent AB 1136 dealt with something else entirely. AB 1396 requires that certain commission pay plans be included in a written contract between the employer and the employee, that the contract specify how the commission is computed, and that the employer must give the employee a copy of the written contract. It does not require any particular reporting to the employee how each commission payment was computed, however. LC § 226 does require certain information on paystubs, but doesn’t specifically say that the employer must provide any detailed accounting of the computation of the commission paid to the employee. You might want to ask the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency if it has any regulations or other guidance on that. LC § 226 does give you the right to inspect the employer’s records of your pay and get copies of it, however. But if the employer’s records aren’t very good, that’s not all that helpful.

#4 Reister


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Posted 04 February 2013 - 06:11 PM

Thank you for the insight and help, especially the reference to the websites. And yes, I meant AB 1396. I will look into this further and see what other information I can provide.

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