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Marsha411JD
Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 19777
Experience:  Licensed Attorney with 29 yrs. exp in Employment Law
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I was a "commission only" sales person (10%) and the owner

Customer Question

I was a "commission only" sales person (10%) and the owner only paid me $2,000 in 2 years. I worked at least 30 hours a week and some weeks 50 hours. He asked me to do additional work like research on use cases, editing of website and PowerPoint, setting up for events like trade shows, filling out paperwork to get diversity status for the company, going along with him on his sales accounts etc... He stopped copying me on some of my accounts so I wouldn't know what was going on. He never showed me anything that showed what we were doing for a client. He acted like I should just take him at his word. The sales cycle for Big Data Predictive Analytics is long but I know that he has done more work with Hallmark for example and never paid me. I don't know the amount he billed them though. He doesn't realize I know this because his business partner told me they were doing more work for them and I said, "Do you know that I haven't received compensation for that?". He said he isn't involved with that end of things and was unaware... That was in December and I was waiting to see if he was going to get him to do anything and apparently he plans to stiff me.
What are my options legally?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 10 months ago.

Hello,

Thank you for the information and your question, however, I am unclear on the relevant facts and your specific question. Are you asking if you have a wage claim against this employer? If so, are you also saying that the total you were paid as an employee in a two year period was $2000? Are you an inside sales person or outside? Do you have a written commission agreement and are you saying that the employer has violated that agreement?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
do I have a wage claim? Is it also fraud by inducement? Yes, just 2k! Both inside and outside sales. He gave me a list to cold call and he would say " go after banks and hospitals as an example and then I did networking to get my own leads. No written commission agreement but it was agreed upon out loud with the attorney who introduced the two of us present.
I signed a NDA to protect the technology - that's all. I didn't think for a second he was a cheat- until he was. The lawyer that introduced us is also an advisor of the company and he has been aware that the owner was shifty after he wouldn't bring financial records to the advisor meetings. He also said in one of those meetings that he was the only one who did sales. When the lawyer asked "What about Kelly?" He told the 3 advisors that I just made "introductions". He also told the lawyer that I was just "doing this" to meet guys!!! I am 51 years old! The lawyer told me this because he couldn't believe it actually came out of this guy's mouth.
I held on to working here because I had a deal w the Veterans hospital that is in the works that would be worth millions to this company and at 10% a ton of money to me.
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 10 months ago.

Hello again and thank you for the additional information. First, it is important to understand that no one who does not have all of the detailed information about your entire work history and the Company's business, as well as the facts from the employer can tell you whether you will have a successful wage claim case. However, I can discuss the law and tell you what your options are.

Under the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act, which Kansas follows, there are certain types of employees who are exempt from the provisions of the minimum wage and overtime rules. One type are outside sales people. However, there are very specific rules as to who qualifies under this definition. You can see a discussion of that rule at the following link: http://www.dol.gov/whd/overtime/fs17f_outsidesales.pdf

If you either don't fall within that definition or you were also an inside sales employee, then you would fall under the minimum wage laws. In addition, it sounds like you might very well have a tort claim for fraud if your employer intentionally misled you about how you would be paid and intentionally hid sales from you.

I would strongly urge you to sit down with a local employment law attorney who deals specifically with employee wage issues, including commission agreements. They will be able to take a detailed intake from you and gather more information about the Company and their activities to help you decide your best course of action, likely suit, for commissions owed. If there wasn't an issue of hidden sales, I would say you would have a wage claim with the State. However, that would only get you minimum wage for the time you have worked at most. That isn't likely to be what you are looking for, thus you need to get a local attorney involved.

Please feel free to ask for clarification if needed. If none is needed, then if you could take a moment to leave a positive rating in the box above, I will receive credit for assisting you today. Thank you

Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 10 months ago.

Hello again,

I wanted to touch base with you and make sure that you did not have any follow up questions for me from the answer I provided to you on the 10th. For some reason, the Experts are not always getting replies or ratings (at the top of the question/answer page you are viewing or in the pop up box for this question), which is how we get credit (paid by the Site) for our work, that the customer thinks have gone through. In your case I received neither. If you are having technical difficulties with reading, replying or rating, please let me know so that I can inform the Site administrator. Please note that Site use works best while using a computer and using either Google Chrome or Firefox.

In any event, it was a pleasure assisting you and I would be glad to attempt to assist you further on this issue, or a new legal issue,if needed. You can bookmark my page at: http://www.justanswer.com/law/expert-marsha411jd/

Thank you.