Can a company withhold pay?

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022

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Can a company withhold pay?

Minnesota based company has recently told us if we do not punch in and out on two separate websites we will not be paid for our work during that period. We were also told that if they do not feel like we are performing (i.e. meeting our metric goals that they will withhold our commissions and only give us our hourly base pay). We were all hired with a base pay plus commission employment contract.

Asked on August 29, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Minnesota


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

1) The employer is entitled to set the system or procedure for punching in and out, and can require employees to provide this information so their wages can be calculated before paying them.
2) Commissions are treated differently than base wages: an employer can, as long as employees are told in advance (as you are) set parameters for commissions and withhold them if goals are targets are being met. Commissions, like bonuses, are not earned only by working (as base pay 8 is) but rather by accomplishing specific goals or metrics the employer sets.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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