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3 FAQs about withholding commissions in California

When you work a job that includes commission as part of your wages, you rely on your employer to deliver the funds.

According to ZipRecruiter, the average commission pay range sits at around $11,900 annually. If you do not receive that commission, it may easily put your finances in trouble.

1. Can my employer legally withhold commissions?

While an employer may come up with various excuses not to pay commissions, they legally must do so. California considers a commission part of your wages, which means you have the right to file a lawsuit if your employer withholds that part of your salary. In some cases, you may have the right to any interest that accrued.

2. What exceptions do employers have?

Although your employer cannot legally withhold commissions, it also depends on the commission agreement. This written agreement should include any exceptions or nuances regarding commissions. After you sign it, both parties must uphold the agreement. An employer has the right to include various deductions in the agreement, such as loss of commission if the client does not pay, payroll tax deductions, or reduction in pay due to making the sale at a discounted price.

3. Am I owed a commission after I end my employment?

Even after you move on to another job, any sale that happens in which you played a key role means that you should get that commission. Keeping detailed notes of any commission-based sale will make it easier to prove you deserve the payment.

Commission-based jobs come with some unknowns, but receiving your due pay should not get included in that category.