Commissions

You just made really good sales for your employer, and you are expecting your fair share of the deals - the commission that you have earned as a saleswoman or salesman. Instead of appreciating your work, your employer fires you so he can take all of the benefit of your work without compensating you. That is unfair and illegal under New York Law. The employer should have given you a written agreement describing how the commissions are to be calculated and paid, and then he should have paid you according to that agreement.

Both you and your employer have to sign the commission agreement. And the agreement has to spell out the calculation of wages, salary, any drawing account, and the percentage commission. Plus, it must state how frequently you will be paid, but it can’t be less than once a month. If you are not clear about how much you have earned or are due, your employer must give you a written statement of such information. The written agreement must tell you when you will earn the commission. If it does not, and there is no prior history of the payment practices between you and the employer, you are considered to earn the commission once there is a ready, willing and able buyer.

What about overtime if you are salesperson and get commissions? There are circumstances  where you are entitled to overtime, and circumstances where you are not. If you are an outside salesperson, making sales outside the employer’s business (e.g., a traveling salesperson) then you are exempt and don’t get overtime. If you are an inside sales person and make sales in the employer’s store or place of business, then you must be paid overtime if your hourly pay for overtime is less than 1.5 times the minimum wage (your commission payments will be included in the calculations to determine your hourly rate), or if less than half your earnings come from commissions. If you work in the same location, but make sales to customers outside the location (as a telemarketer, for example), than you generally must get overtime. 

Commission saleswomen and salesmen are often taken advantage by their employer when the employer fires them after they have made significant sales because the employer does not want to honor the commission agreement and share the profits by paying the commission earned and owed. Nor can your employer subject you to retaliation in New York State or New York City because you complain that you are not being paid the commission that you was agreed to and understood.

Contact us online or call us at (212) 949-1001 if you think that your employer's harmful actions stem from your being a commission salesman or saleswoman who is not being paid commissions earned and due. We will use our more than 25 years of experience to help you resolve the matter by negotiation or by going to court in the State of New York or New York City.