Under what conditions can an employer take a percentage of an employee’s commission?

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Under what conditions can an employer take a percentage of an employee’s commission?

I work at a carwash off commission plus $7.25 per hour. I was told by my manager that they will take 20% of my commission if I don’t sell enough rainx for wheels. It’s a new product. Is it legal for them to do that if I haven’t signed anything allowing them to. They threatened to fire me if I did not sell enough.

Asked on June 22, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am a little perplexed about the whole idea of commissions being given an employee at a car wash and ow that all works.  But my gut reaction to this question - which needs a bit more clarification - is no, am employer can not take a percentage of your commission. Generally speaking, a commissions is a form of compensation that is only paid out to an employee after it has been earned.  So if your employer threatens to take away money you have already earned that would be illegal.  He can threaten to lower the percentage of your commission - and he may or may not get away with that either - but he can not take away what is yours already.  Good luck.


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