California  |  Employment Law

Legal Question

Asked on: 9/23/13, 8:27 pm

My employer has informed me that my commission is a benefit and can be revoked at any time. "Commission is a benefit and can be taken away at the will of the employer."

According to my research, this is not right under california state law. Can someone direct me to the right statutes about employment with commission and how it is paid?

2 Answers


Answered on: 9/23/13, 10:29 pm by Timothy McCormick

You will not find it covered by statute. It is covered by wage orders issued by the State Department of Industrial Relations. What you will find if you locate the correct wage order is that your employer is mostly right. It is not actually a benefit, commissions are legally compensation or "wages," but like all wages, as long as you are paid at least minimum wage, your employer can increase or decrease your compensation any time they want. The only limitation is that they cannot decrease or take away compensation for work already done. So they cannot take away earned commissions anymore than they could take away hourly pay for work already done. But they are completely within their legal rights to eliminate commissions and just pay you hourly, or a salary if your job qualifies for non-hourly compensation.


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Answered on: 9/23/13, 11:06 pm by Charles Perry

I agree completely with Mr. McCormick. Commissions are wages. They can be eliminated for future work, but must be paid if already earned. If they are eliminated for future work, then the only requirement is that you be paid the minimum wage.


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