California Wage Law
by Matthew A. Kaufman
The Kaufman Law Firm
Los Angeles Office:
Toll Free: 888-990-4659
Commission Wages: What are the employee's alternatives under California labor law?
Many employers, particularly in the computer and technology industries, pay their employees by “commission.” Under California wage law, commission wages refer to compensation paid as a percentage of the price of the product or service sold. Commissions can also be a “spif,” i.e., based on the number of items sold. Often, disputes involving bonuses are resolved under the same legal principles as commissions.
Commissions arise out agreements between the employer and employee. Where the salesperson “procures cause” for the sale (or other commissionable event), then the salesman is entitled to their commission. Even where management intervenes, the salesperson who “procures cause” should be paid their commissions.
Can the CA wage laws help former employees recover their commissions?
Call Our Lawyers for Help Recovering Unpaid Commissions
This page is not a complete discussion of commission wages. If you want to recover your unpaid commissions, give us a call or send us an email at 818-990-1999 or Email Here for a consultation.
If you want to learn more, check out Google Scholar on the following subjects. We list the sources below only for informational purposes. These issues are complex, the list of sources is not complete, and you should get the help of a knowledgeable and experienced attorney before analyzing your own legal issues.
On what is a commission, search Google Scholar for the following cases: Areso v. Carmax, Inc. (2011) 195 Cal. App. 4th 996 and Keyes Motors v. DLSE (1987) 197 Cal. App. 3d 557.
On procuring cause, check out Willson v. Turner Resilient Floors, Inc., (1949) 89 Cal. App. 2d 589
On the policy against forfeitures, check out Dana Perfumes v. Mullica (9th Cir. 1959) 268 F. 2d 936
On unconscionability and commission pay plans, check out Ellis v. McKinnon Broadcasting Co. (1993) 18 Cal. App. 4th 1796 and American Software, Inc. v. Ali (1996) 46 Cal. App. 4th 1386. Unconscionability is a developing area of the law.