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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 11248
Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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I am an employee that is commission based only. I sell a

Customer Question

I am an employee that is commission based only. I sell a product to customers in home. No sale no pay. Company has decided to get the best buck for their money on old inquiries that never materialized to an appt for the sales people. For free they are now scheduling us to drive out to peoples homes, knock on their door and delivery a brochure. In hopes of igniting an interest. These inquiries are sometimes as old as 8/9 years. Some have demanded the company stop calling, most don't answer or have moved all together. They were originally set up to have a near by appt then this canvas call. But now have crossed over to anytime they feel or want we have to go, even without any appts for the day or an appt 50 miles away. I spoke with the labor board and outside sales are not exempt from minimum wage but, that is not my goal. I want to now if they can order me to go to a canvas call at all or without pay? They have just now started paying mileage for California but don't elsewhere. The owner feels if we are employees then he owns our time, but is not paying anything for these calls.
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 8 months ago.

Hello and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. My name is ***** ***** I will do everything I can to answer your question.

While I wish I could tell you otherwise, but as a commission employee your employer need only ensure that you receive compensation equal to at least minimum wage for all hours worked. They have complete discretion to decide what work you must perform, and it does not matter if that work is likely to result in commissions. Again, all that matters is that your total compensation each pay period equals or exceeds minimum wage.

If your employer is instructing you to engage in tasks which reduce your ability to make commissions, or increase the number of hours you need to work to earn the same commissions, then your only option is to voice your complaints and leave for better employment opportunities if they don't respond in an acceptable manner. Regretfully, you cannot dictate to your employer what tasks you are willing or not wiling to perform, even if those tasks are understandably frustrating and unfair.

I hope that you find this information helpful and am genuinely sorry if it is not what you were hoping to hear. 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.

If you do not require any further assistance, please be so kind as to provide a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you. Very best wishes moving forward.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
that did not answer my question. My job description is outside sales and canvassing or marketing does not apply. Nor am I exempt from minimum wage. I do not work by the hour. I sell I get paid. These deliveries are not part of the sale process. Its free labor. You did not address this . I find an attorney somewhere
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 8 months ago.

Please let me elaborate.

When you work on a commission basis the law guarantees you at least minimum wage for all hours worked. This is true regardless of whether or not you "work by the hour." If your commissions for the pay period, when divided by the number of hours worked, equal less than minimum wage, your employer must make up the difference. Otherwise, you are simply paid whatever your commissions are.

As a commission employee, your employer has complete discretion to determine your job duties. Again, as noted above, this holds true even if your employer is asking you to perform tasks that will not generate commissions. Provided those total commissions equal or exceed minimum wage for the pay period then your employer is not violating any law. If the commissions equal less than that, then your employer must make up the difference.

So, you asked: " I want to now if they can order me to go to a canvas call at all or without pay?"

The answer to that question, simply put, is "yes they can."

I hope this clarifies. If I can be of any further assistance at all just let me know.

Kind regards,

Patrick