Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Commission Based Jobs and Wage Theft

When it comes to wage theft, many employees who have been victims of their employers do not know if they have rights because they work in jobs that do not operate on a typical pay scale such as hourly or salary. Individuals who work in jobs that pay based on commissions often fall into this gray area.

But while it may seem that commission based jobs would not apply when it comes to basic rights under the Fair Labor and Standards Act, the requirements of employers are still fairly black and white.

The Fair Labor and Standards Act revolutionized employment standards and since its inception has continued to be the cornerstone of employment law and employee rights. Although commission based positions are technically the result of a mutual agreement between employer and employee, there are still a number of things that employers must legally provide including:

  • Detailed records of all commission transactions, hours an employee works and how much those commissions work out to hourly.
  • Payment that at least works out to the federal minimum wage--if an employees commissions are extremely low, the employee should not go home either empty handed or with an amount of money that is less than minimum wage. A working employee is a working employee and refusal to compensate for that work is wage theft.
  • If the employee works in excess of 40 hours a week, he or she should be paid what would most closely equal out to overtime pay or time and a half.
  • Employees should receive every commission that they rightfully earn--employers who keep commissions for any reason are likely engaging in wage theft.

Regardless of the type of payment a worker receives, every employee is entitled to the basic rights stated under the FLSA.

To find out more about commission based jobs and wage theft, visit the website of the overtime lawyers of Tycko & Zavareei, LLP.

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