Attorney Jean-Claude Lapuyade

What If An Employer Doesn’t Pay Commission?

Those working in sales-based positions understand the instability of relying on commissions for part or all of their salary. Your performance is directly related to your success. So when you achieve a sales goal, you need to make sure your employer pays you correctly. Salespeople in these situations must know when an employer is bending the rules or failing to pay what’s owed them.

The promptness of payment

Employees entitled to commissions need to receive payment promptly. Employers must fulfill that payment obligation in the time frame laid out in an agreement or according to California’s guidelines. Depending on the situation, California’s standard payday rules could apply to your payment schedule.

Understanding commission agreements

Those employers that pay their employees based on commission in California should put the terms of that agreement in writing. The employer should also provide a copy of the agreement to the employee to reference these terms later. A commission agreement is crucial because it lays out the payment structure expectations and when the employee can anticipate payment after a successful sale. Here are the jobs that may be subject to commission agreements:

  • Car salesman
  • B2B sales
  • Corporate sales representatives
  • Job recruiters
  • Insurance Agents
  • Stockbrokers
  • Real estate agents

Employees need to protect the pay they’re entitled to

The terms of employment need to be clear for those working in sales positions. This should include both qualified deductions from a person’s pay as well as what they are entitled to for a type of commission payment. California provides additional guidelines for what employers are allowed to deduct from pay. Don’t let an unscrupulous employer take advantage of your hard work. Learn the rules for unpaid commissions.