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Joseph, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 5299
Experience:  Extensive experience representing employees and management
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I have worked for my company for three years and I have averaged

Resolved Question:

I have worked for my company for three years and I have averaged just over 50k/year with hourly pay and commission. I recently got a promotion to a new job in the same company and this new position is only hourly w/o commission, but the top pay rate is much higher than I made with commission. My company said that since my commission was not guaranteed I had to move to the new job at just my hourly rate of pay minus my average commission, which resulted in over 15k loss to me. The position is titled as a promotion. No where in our contract does it state that I do not keep my average pay with commission. My question is what do I do to keep my pay or make what the rest of the employees make in that new position??
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Joseph replied 2 years ago.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer.

I'm sorry to hear about your situation and hope I can help.

Do you know that others in the same position are receiving more money than you?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes, I know that everyone else hired to that position is getting paid higher than I am. I was hired along with 8 other people, the difference is that I am an internal promotion, they are all external new hires.

Expert:  Joseph replied 2 years ago.
Hello Woodrow,

Do you have any reason to believe that you're being treated differently from the other employees due to discrimination based on a protected characteristic (race, gender, national origin, ethnicity, sex, or age) or was it just because it was an internal promotion instead of an external one?

I find it very odd that your promotion would involve such a decrease in your normal wages.

Are they taking money that you have already earned as commissions?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I do not think it has anything to do with my race. It looks like it is because I am an internal promotion. I am very qualified for this position also. I have an A.S. in Electronics, FCC License, and advance Certificates. I also have years of technical experience. I will copy and paste the portion of the contract that the argument is about.


When a (voluntary) change of title occurs, and is considered a
promotion, fifteen ($15.00) dollars will be applied to the employee’s
current weekly pay rate. The employee will then be slotted into the
closest step in the new schedule that is equal to, but not less than,
that new amount. The time interval to the next step increase on
the new wage schedule will be six (6) months from the date of the
change in title. In the event an employee is over the top of the
new wage scale, that employee will be placed at the top of the new

They are telling me that my current weekly pay does not include my past commissions even though I have averaged more than 50k/year for the last 3 years. I was placed at the bottom of the new pay scale... I have never seen or heard of any employee being placed at the bottom of any pay scale.

Expert:  Joseph replied 2 years ago.
Hello Woodrow,

To be clear, are they refusing to pay you for the past commissions that you've earned?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Oh, sorry. I have been paid for all of my commissions. I am just upset that when I got a "promotion" to this new position, they told me that I will now be making over 15k less per year. The contract does not state that I will lose my average weekly pay.


So to answer your question, No, they are not refusing to pay me my past commissions, they are just refusing to include my average pay into my new pay.

Expert:  Joseph replied 2 years ago.
Hello Woodrow,

Unfortunately, while what your employer has done is unethical, inhuane, and incredibly unfair, it is not illegal.

However, since you are a member of a union, you can utilize the grievance procedure to redress your concerns.

Considering the importance of seniority with unions and that employees are treated fairly, you should be able to use the grievance procedure to receive the same amount in wages that the employees who were externally hired receive.

I hope the above information is helpful.

Please let me know if you have any clarifying or follow up questions.

Thanks and best of luck!
Joseph, Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 5299
Experience: Extensive experience representing employees and management
Joseph and 2 other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you

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