Should we be compensated for having to cross-train at work?

UPDATED: May 11, 2013

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Should we be compensated for having to cross-train at work?

They tell us that doing whatever the manager asks us to do is in our job description. I’m a sales accociate that has to do financing, and sometimes even do warehouse work that takes me away from my commission salary. I am 100% commission. If I don’t sell, I don’t make money.

Asked on May 11, 2013 under Employment Labor Law, Kentucky


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Morally, you are probably right--it would be appropriate to compensate you for having to do other duties, especially those that take you away from commissionable activities. Unfortunately, legally, there is no obligation to do this: an employer is free to define employees' duties and responsibilities and to assign commissioned staff to non-commissionable activities so long as--

1) They are not violating a writing employment contract in doing so;

2) The employee still makes minimum wage for the wage (that is, still makes for the week at least $7.25 x the number of hours worked).

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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