Can an employer in South Carolina dock 50 from an employee’s commission each time an employee is a few minutes late?

Employee is non-exempt hourly and makes commission off of sales. Is there a SC
code that specifies that only a reasonable amount can be deducted from employee?

Asked on October 16, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, South Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Base hourly wages cannot be dedited or docked this way. But commissions are not protected in the same way. Commissions are paid according to the agreement between the employer and employee, whatever it is; and if there is no written commission agreement locking in the commissions for a given period of time (e.g. a one-year contract), the employer can change the terms at any time, and those changes are effective from when you have notice of them forward--by continuing to work after having notice of the change, you are held to have agreed to them. Because there is no regulation of commissions, only the agreement between the parties, the employer may dock $50 each time you are late. You may wish to look for other employment if you can't adjust your commuting, etc. schedule so as to not be late.

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