If I work on commission, what are my rights as an employee?

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If I work on commission, what are my rights as an employee?

I work as a mobile pet groomer. My pay commission based. I am an employee for a business and my employer sets my schedule. I often work over 40 hours per week and my employer requires that I submit weekly hours to him but I don’t get overtime pay. Am I entitled to overtime? Because I don’t set my schedule, I often don’t get breaks or meal periods. Is my employer obligated to give me meal times? Also, I signed a contract stating that I would pay auto deductible for an accident or damages. Is this legal to hold me responsible for damages that occurred during my work day to the company vehicle?

Asked on June 5, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You should contact the department of labor (state or federal) or an employment attorney--you may have a cause of action or claim for overtime.

1) Under federal law (the Fair Labor Standards Act, or FLSA), regardless of how someone is paid (wages, salary, piecework, commission, or combination), they are entitled to overtime for all hours worked past 40 in a workweek unless their job responsibilities specifically exempt them from overtime. From what you write, your job does not seem to meet one of  those exemptions, but you need someone to really consider this in detail for a definitive answer.

2) In CA, you are also entitled to overtime under state law for any day in which you work more than 8 hours, regardless of total hours worked per week.

3) There *might* be some meal time obligation if you are a nonexempt from overtime employee.

4) An employee can agree to take on some financial risk for his or her employer, however.


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