Can your employer withhold commission checks?

UPDATED: Feb 28, 2016

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Can your employer withhold commission checks?

I work at a job that pays hourly, plus commission. Our employer has withheld our

commission/bonus checks for 3 months. Is this allowed?

Asked on February 28, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, North Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

No, it is not allowed. Commissions are subject to certain deductions or offsets which can reduce their amount, such as debits for bad debts, unpaid invoices, returns, etc., but they can't be simply withheld or not paid--whatever the commission amount is, net of any such deductions, should be paid as per the agreement, either written or non-written (i.e. shown by past practice) as to when and how frequently they are paid (that is, they should be paid along their normal schedule).
You can try contacting your state's departmant of labor, to see if they can help you (they help with many wage issues). If they can't, you could sue your employer for the money.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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