What are my rights if recently my employer stopped paying me commissions with no prior notification?

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What are my rights if recently my employer stopped paying me commissions with no prior notification?

I reside and work remotely as a regional sales account manager for a large technology company based in another state. Nearly 1/5th of my pay comes from sales commissions. I have never been contacted via phone, email or other form of communication about the sudden termination of the commissions my employer and I agree upon in writing at the start of each year (Jan 1). It is a fact that I was not paid any commissions on my last pay check, and that I have never been notified about the termination of commission payments. Is the above situation legal?

Asked on January 22, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Iowa

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

IF you were in fact overpaid commissions prevously, then the employer may offset that against current commissions. However, it must have been an actual overpayment--e.g. the wrong rate used; calculated on the wrong (too high) product sales; didn't take valid chargebacks or  deductions into account; or, as you write, commissioned on things you should not have been commissioned on. It can't simply be that they currently pay at a lower rate and are retroactively recapturing money paid at a higher rate--the overpayment must have been wrong at the time it was made. You may wish to ask for proof or documentation of the overpayment.


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