Can my employer pay below the federal and state minimum wage amounts ifI work inside sales and get commission?

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Can my employer pay below the federal and state minimum wage amounts ifI work inside sales and get commission?

I was being paid $412 bi-monthly then I got moved to the next level; now I am paid $625 bi-monthly. There base pay is $10,000 for regular reps and $15,000 for the next level reps. Both are below minimum wage requirements. When you are first hired they pay you minimum wage for 2 weeks and then they claim that you are then exempt employees. They get by under radar because they advance you money and then take it out of next check. Jobs are really hard to find and I don’t know if I could afford an attorney. What would you suggest I do? There are many of us looking to go to attorneys; should we?

Asked on April 23, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Illinois

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Advancing you money and taking it out of your paycheck thereafter is not proper labor practice and all of you could be held accountable to the IRS and state tax authorities for fraud. If you and other employees know about it and wish to report it, that is good but keep in mind the concept of every man for himself. You can do a couple of things, but ultimately, if you have a family you need to be concerned about bringing home a paycheck. You should anonymously report the matter to the IRS tip lines and to the state labor department and tax authority. Further, you should immediately and quietly begin seeking employment elsewhere. Further, you should not discuss your plans or your anonymous call with anyone. If anyone approaches you to ask you to join them, explain that you will think about it.


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