Worker who got salary-only job may still be due old commissions

CAN THEY DO THAT?

October 26, 2005|By CARRIE MASON-DRAFFEN | CARRIE MASON-DRAFFEN,NEWSDAY

I work as a sales representative for a large company. I receive a base salary, plus commissions. ... Recently though, I became a salary-only employee.

I assumed I would collect the unpaid commissions I had earned. But much to my dismay I was told I wouldn't be eligible to receive any more commissions once the new salary took effect. I don't understand this. ... Is it just greed on the company's part? Does any law govern a situation like this?

It may be the fine print of your commission contract that's bedeviling you. That agreement spells out the actions your company can take, including whether it can legally cancel an earned commission.

So peruse the contract. If you see nothing about disqualifying you for commissions when you take a salaried position, call that to your company's attention. If you can't make any headway, call your state Labor Department.

I work for the IRS. We have a union but aren't obligated to join it. But joining is much easier than leaving it.

Employees can join the union at any time. But there is only one day out of each year when you can leave the union. ... Is this legal?

I spoke with the IRS about this and it clarified some points you made.

Once you join the union, Title 5 of the U.S. Code requires you to pay union dues for more than a year before ending the deductions for dues, an IRS spokesman said.

At the other end, when you want to opt out, there is a single two-week payroll period when you can withdraw your membership and stop the dues deductions from your check.

The agreement between the IRS and the National Treasury Employees Union specifies that the revocation notice be submitted to the payroll office during a two-week pay period sometime in July or August. The cancellation would take effect in September.

carrie.draffen@newsday.com.

Carrie Mason-Draffen writes for Newsday.

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