Tag Archives: commission

Washington’s Highest Court Rules Piece Rate Compensation Does Not Satisfy Rest Break Pay Requirement

Like all compensation methods, piece rate compensation plans – under which an employee is compensated based on the number of “pieces” he or she generates or completes – must be analyzed for wage-and-hour compliance. For example, under federal law, minimum wage generally is due for all hours worked, and there are recordkeeping obligations, although some … Continue Reading

Commissioned Sales Employee Not Entitled To Commission Payment Under The Plain Language Of Incentive Compensation Plan

This blog has stressed (most recently here and here) the importance of carefully drafting incentive compensations plans to avoid unintentionally converting incentive compensation into earned “wages” protected under state law.   Another recent decision, this one from the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit reinforces the employer benefits of careful drafting. Lawson v. Sun Microsystems, … Continue Reading

Manhattan Federal Court: Financial Firm Retained Discretion to Award or Not Award Bonus

As we recently noted in our discussion of Massachusetts law, incentive compensation has the potential to become “wages” protected by state labor law once it is “earned.” However, when an employer conveys to the employee that it retains discretion to award or not award incentive compensation in any specific amount, such potential incentive compensation (whether … Continue Reading

Clarifying Recent Legislative Amendment, Nebraska Supreme Court Addresses Entitlement To Commissions Under State Law, Contract

As we recently discussed, while the FLSA does not regulate the payment of incentive compensation (such as, for example, commissions and bonuses), many state laws do.  In Nebraska, an employee’s right to commissions is governed by a recently amended statute, Nebraska Revised Statute § 48-1229(4).  A new decision from that state’s highest court addresses an … Continue Reading

Illinois Court Rejects Attorney’s Claim For Alleged Unpaid Bonus

Similar to the wage-and-hour enforcement scheme of many other states including New York, in Illinois, the payment of incentive compensation is largely a matter of contract.  Entitlement to incentive compensation, in particular bonuses paid pursuant to a company policy taking into account many criteria, under the governing statute attaches when the terms of the contract … Continue Reading

Applying Multiple Defenses, Federal Court Rejects Motorcycle Mechanic’s Overtime Claim

Identifying two separate bases for finding a motorcycle mechanic ineligible for overtime under the FLSA, Judge Federico A. Moreno granted summary judgment to the Ducati dealership where the mechanic worked, Ducati Miami.  Henriquez v. Total Bike, LLC, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 179592 (S.D. Fla. Dec. 20, 2013). In challenging his exempt status, Henriquez first alleged … Continue Reading

New York’s Highest Court Addresses Liability for Bonuses

An unsettled fertile area of litigation in New York has been the circumstances under which various types of incentive compensation—such as bonuses—become “earned” as wages and thus entitled to the protections of the New York Labor Law, which provide greater remedies than common law claims for breach of contract.  In a recent decision, New York’s … Continue Reading

EDNY Judge Rules Suggested Gratuity Did Not Factor Into Overtime Calculation and Upholds Validity of Auto-Deduct For Meal Periods

As discussed repeatedly in these pages and elsewhere, employers have faced innumerable lawsuits regarding their alleged failure to distribute amounts purported to be gratuities to service staff in their entirety. However, even distributing tip money dollar-for-dollar to service providers is not a panacea against wage claims, as highlighted in a new opinion issuing from the Eastern … Continue Reading

Manhattan Appeals Court Rejects Senior Executive’s Claim for Alleged Unpaid Incentive Compensation

Pursuant to New York State Department of Labor guidance and New York case law, incentive compensation is not considered “wages” unless it is “earned.” See generally Truelove v. Northeast Capital & Advisory, Inc., 95 N.Y.2d 220, 225 (2000). Accordingly, disputes over an employee’s entitlement to incentive compensation in New York often turn on whether a particular bonus, … Continue Reading

California Court of Appeal Upholds Applicability of State Commission Exemption to Sales Consultant

As we have previously discussed, the FLSA contains an exemption for commissioned employees in the retail or service industry who meet certain parameters: colloquially referred to as the “7(i)” exemption. California has a similar exemption which the California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District recently applied to a sales consultant, holding that Defendant’s payments qualified as “commissions.” Areso … Continue Reading

District Court Finds Commercial Window Washing Company To Be a “Retail or Service Establishment”, But Questions Whether Compensation Received Is a “Commission”

Litigation regarding what constitutes a “retail or service establishment,” under the “7(i)” or “retail sales” exemption continues. We recently reported a district court decision applying the exemption to employees selling precious metals. See La Parne v. Monex Deposit Co., 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 59768 (C.D. Cal. Apr. 29, 2010).  Just a couple of months later, another district … Continue Reading
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