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socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 39187
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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I was hired as a pet groomer with Petsmart. They agreed to

Customer Question

I was hired as a pet groomer with Petsmart. They agreed to pay me $10.00/hr when they first hired me, but since becoming a full fledged groomer they agreed to pay me commision if I groomed "x amount of pets instead per week and if I did not make the commision mark then I would get my base pay.
Now because times are hard for everyone, I'm expected to go into the store and sell my services to customers drumming up business. I not apposed to doing that service. If I don't make commission they are threatening to fire me. Is that legal in the state of California.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  socrateaser replied 8 years ago.

What you are describing is the classic cycle of retail business. Management pits employees against each other to sell, and then when business dries up, they blame the employees, fire them, and hire new ones, in the bizarre belief that somehow the new employee will be able to do what the old one could not: sell to an empty store.

Unfortunately, it's perfectly legal. Your true recourse is to get out of retail -- get a better education and a better job, get into management, or find a sales job that generates greater commissions -- because, as long as you're being beaten up to "sell, sell, sell," you may as well get paid better for doing so.

Hope this helps.

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Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Your answer is not acceptable. It's not even an answer to my question. I want to know if i"m hired at $10.00/hr, does the employer in the state of CA have the legal right to fire me based on commission which I never agreed on.

Expert:  socrateaser replied 8 years ago.

Under California Labor Code § 2922, "An employment, having no specified term, may be terminated at the will of either party on notice to the other."

The above-quoted statement of law is California's statutory enactment of what is commonly known as the "at will" employment doctrine. It means that either employer or employee may terminate the employment relationship at any time and for any reason -- or for no reason at all.

Now, I realize that you may not like this situation -- I know of no employee who does. However, it is the law in California, and everywhere else in the USA.

Bot***** *****ne answer to your question is an unqualified "yes," you can be fired based on the commission that you never agreed on, because by actually working under the commission plan, you agreed to its terms.

Please don't shoot the messenger.