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Commission Only Legality

Anonymous Person's Profile

I was hired by a company in CA as a commission only sales rep. I reported to an office, had a set schedule, was accountable for a certain number of outbound calls/day and harassed endlessly about my production. I have previously made 6 figures in sales, but that's immaterial to my question: Is it legal to pay an inside sales rep commission only that fell UNDER the minimum wage threshold. The paychecks were processed as a regular employee with deductions, not 1099 (though I think they'd have a hard time trying that route anyway). I worked through my lunches, 9a-7p at the office and then an additional amount of hours late into every evening (sometimes until 3am) and full-time over the weekends. I quit when they started really jacking me around over new business I generated from Australia and they wanted me to prove it was from my (web) efforts. I then asked them for the "alternate" version of the sales contract which offered $9/hr (I have a copy of it but it's not signed) They said they'd check to see and never called me back... That can't have been legal right? Some advice would be great. A referral to a competent attorney in Los Angeles would be even better! This is the first of TWO jobs playing this game with me this year... I know the economy is bad.. But come on! Help! Thank you! :)


Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, |

You hit the nail on the head, you need to speak with an Entertainment/Labor attorney.

Ted Monohon
Title: VP -Finance / Controller
Company: Fantex
(VP -Finance / Controller, Fantex) |

Yes, you are correct. It is illegal to pay under minimum wage in CA for commission only jobs. You are also entitled to some OT. You can always contact the Cal Chamber of Commerce for some assistance (for a fee). Any competent employment attorney should be able to write a letter and get you a fair settlement.

Good luck

Topic Expert
Malak Kazan
Title: VP, Special Projects
Company: ERI Economic Research Institute
(VP, Special Projects, ERI Economic Research Institute) |

In CA, commission only inside sales positions are covered by FLSA regulations and Wage Order #4 (assuming your role was not retail/merchant sales). These regs require at least minimum wage be paid for hours worked up to 8 hrs per day then overtime rate (e.g. 1.5 TIMES min wage) and IF your commissions earned did not equal these hourly calculations, it is the minimum you should be paid. Hopefully the hours worked during this period has been recorded/reported. If pursuing the legal avenue, find an attorney that specialize in "employee" representation and local. If you have used legal services for other reasons (like house closing ) perhaps you can get a referral from them. Hope this helps.

Jaime Campbell
Title: Chief Financial Officer
Company: Tier One Services, LLC
(Chief Financial Officer, Tier One Services, LLC) |

One of my Los Angeles contacts came through for me with a referral for you:

Bruce M. Lorman, Esq.
Law Offices of Bruce M. Lorman
1717 Fourth Street, 3rd Floor
Santa Monica, California 90401
Telephone: 310-451-0049
Facsimile: 310-393-8180
e-mail: BruceatLormanLaw [dot] com

Mention the name of Maura Knowles of Mac 'n' Mos.


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