This is the first in a series of posts dealing specifically with the issue of commissioned salespeople and unpaid overtime. This is an area most employees, many employers, and even a large percentage of California attorneys do not understand correctly.
Top salespeople often make a very comfortable living and never even think about whether they are legally entitled to overtime pay.
Usually only salespeople who are wrongfully terminated or seek legal advice for other reasons ever recover these amounts because a lawyer tells them about their claims.
If you are a salesperson, these posts are required reading, because you might be getting cheated out of some very substantial amounts of wages, regardless of how much money you are making in regular wages.
"Commissioned" DOES NOT Equal "Exempt"
Many salespeople assume because they are "commissioned" they are not entitled to overtime. However, whether or not a salesperson is truly "commissioned" is determined by a complicated legal analysis.
Further, even if a salesperson is "commissioned," this is only one of many requirements that must be met before an employer can treat an employee as truly "exempt" from overtime pay.
Hopefully this series will help some of these employees realize their current (or former) employers owe them some substantial wages that might be worth pursuing.
"I make a good living--why should I care about getting overtime, too?"
For those who have not been following this blog, it would be helpful for you to review my earlier posts on common mistakes employers make in calculating the rate of overtime pay and the number of overtime hours worked to see just how much money might be owed.
It is not unheard of for salespeople to be owed hundreds of thousands of dollars if they work enough overtime, make enough money in regular wages and have worked for their employer long enough.
These employees are getting cheated out of their wages either because their employers are ignorant of the law or the employers are happily pocketing these extra wages because the employees do not know their rights. Either way, the employees are legally entitled to these earned, but unpaid wages.
The next few posts will deal with determining whether or not a salesperson is entitled to unpaid overtime wages. In my experience, many of them are.
Table of Contents for This Series
- Commissioned Salespeople & Overtime, Part 1: "How much?"
- Commissioned Salespeople & Overtime, Part 2: Are You "Commissioned"?
- Commissioned Salespeople & Overtime, Part 3: Qualified Employer?
- Commissioned Salespeople & Overtime, Part 4: Final Words