What can be done if my husband sells cars for a dealership and his pay is commission only but based on surveys that in part have nothing to do with the sales rep?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What can be done if my husband sells cars for a dealership and his pay is commission only but based on surveys that in part have nothing to do with the sales rep?

A large portion of his pay is based on survey results. On the survey, the customer rates their experience with the sales, finance, and the dealership facility (including appearance, ease of looking at inventory and variety of inventory). If the survey’s at the end of the month aren’t nearly perfect, the sales rep loses out on a large portion of their commission. The problem with this is there are areas on the survey that the sales rep can’t control. If commulative surveys come back with low marks on finance or the dealership facility but perfect on the sales experience, the sales rep still doesn’t get their higher commission pay.

Asked on December 28, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Illinois


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

The fact is that unless this action violates the terms of an employment contract or union agreement it is perfectly legal. Additionally, no form of actionable discrimination must be involved. Since neither appear to be the case (at least you did not specify that they were), then no law is being broken in this situation. The fact is that in an at will work relationship, a company can set the terms and conditions of employment much as it sees fit.
Botton line, as long as your husband is effectively making more than minimum wage, this pay arrangement is legally permissable.

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