Thank you very much for clarifying these points for me.
It may surprise you to learn that an employer's only statutory obligation when it comes to paying its employees is to comply with the laws governing minimum wage and overtime. This means that your employer can force you to perform "commissionable work" for free, provided you receive minimum wage or more for all hours during which you are under your employer's control.
The law regards these "unpaid duties" as part of the package of employment, and provided the employee is clear that are not going to be receiving commissions for particular customers, the employer has no legal obligation to pay them.
Take some small comfort in knowing that, as an employment law attorney who assists individuals like yourself on a daily basis, I find the law in this respect to be tremendously unfair. I also empathize with your frustration.
The good news is that Labor Code 2802 requires employers to reimburse employees for ALL expenses necessarily incurred in the discharge of their duties. That means that any money you spend on supplies, marketing, or anything else MUST be repaid by your employer. If they are not doing this, then they are breaking the law. You can file a claim with the Department of Labor Standards Enforcement to enforce your right to reimbursement and can get that process started here: http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/howtofilewageclaim.htm
Employers are legally prohibited from retaliating against employees for asserting their rights under the Labor Code, so any adverse employment action taken against you as a consequence of your complaint would give rise to an entirely separate claim for damages.
I realize that the law is not entirely in your favor here and I am truly sorry to have to deliver what is partially bad news. Nonetheless, I trust that you will appreciate an accurate explanation of the law and realize that it would be unprofessional of me and unfair to you to provide you with anything less.
Please do not hesitate
to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.
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