Is it against the law for a commission employee to get their commission when out on sick leave if they did not do the work?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Is it against the law for a commission employee to get their commission when out on sick leave if they did not do the work?

A co-worker of mine is out for at least 6 weeks after surgery. She only gets

commission. Anything to come in while she is out, even though she will have

nothing to do with it, my boss says is her commission. Is that legal?

Asked on August 15, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

The law does not actually address this issue--commissions are a "contractual" issue in that anything agreed to between the employer and the employee (so any rules for commissions which the employee agreed to, either explicitly or implicitly by continuing to work there with knowledge of the rules, thereby showing consent to or acceptance of them) is legal. If this is the policy of your employer--thus, the effective agreement under which commissions are earned at your company--it is legal.

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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