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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 am a commisssioned Salesman in a privately held Arizona company

Customer Question

I am a commisssioned Salesman in a privately held Arizona company with many branches in California. We annually are forced to sign a contract that stipulates our compensation program, albiet it in many cases is arbitrary. This company reserves the right to revise this contract with only two weeks notice. We are only into Q2 and they are revising our plans already, that change compensation significantly for us based in part on our contract, but also in part on historical compensation over the past two years. In addition, it seems to many of us that one or more of our contemporaries have cut special deals because they know where " the dead bodies are located" ( We are a distributor and our company is blatently defrauding the very large Corporation from which we purchase our products; we are not only encouaged to participate in this process, but have literally no choice to do so if we are to financially survive individually. We are also warned that if the Corporate auditors catch us, we will be responsible for participation in the payback).Our company has nearly 700 employees, does well over $500 million in Sales Volume, and the company we are defrauding is the subsidiary of a Fortune 500 corporation. Do we have an avenue to approach the labor board , and if so, can our company fire us.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Joseph replied 4 years ago.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer.

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

I have a few questions before I can assist you.

Does the contract that you sign state that the employer can change it with only two weeks notice?

Could you explain more about how the company is defrauding the supplier?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I had a problem with IE; did see my more details?

Expert:  Joseph replied 4 years ago.
Hello Richard,

No, I didn't get your reply. Could you please resend it?
Expert:  Joseph replied 4 years ago.
Hello Richard,

Since I didn't get your initial reply, please don't hesitate to leave follow up questions.

1. Regarding the complaints to the labor board.

Unfortunately if you are an at-will employee, your employer is free to change the terms and conditions of your employment, including the way in which you are compensated, at any time for any reason with or without any prior notice.

This stems from the employment at-will doctrine, which is codified in California Labor Code Section 2922, and states:

"An employment, having no specified term, may be terminated at the will of either party on notice to the other. Employment for a specified term means an employment for a period greater than one month."

Therefore, unless your employer is breaching its contrcatual arrangements with you,
failing to pay minimum wage (which is required for commissioned employees) or otherwise
violating the labor code (which, based on the information you provided, is likely not occuring)
there wouldn't be anything to take to the labor board.

That said, it never hurts to call them and make a complaint, which you can do through finding
your local office here:

2. Other issues (fraudulent practices)

If, however, you were to go to the attorney general to report the massive fraud that is taking place,
you would receive whistleblower protection, which prevents your employer from terminating
you in retaliation for making a complaint to an outside governmental agency.

If your employer were to retaliate against you in any way, then you would have a cause of
action for retaliation or wrongful termination in violation of public policy.

As I first mentioned, please let me know if you have any follow up questions or if there is any
additional information I can provide to you.

Thanks and best of luck!

Expert:  Joseph replied 4 years ago.
Hello Richard.

Please remember to rate my answer positively so I get credit for my work!

Or please ask me any follow up questions that you have!

Thanks and best of luck!

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