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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Boss Decides The Cubicle Costs Extra

san jose employment lawyerRecently, from the Houston Chronicle:

Q. I work as a financial adviser at a major insurance company. The manager in our office periodically threatens employees with punitive measures as a way to increase their production. This month he made good on one of those threats by withholding $500 from my commission-only compensation for “rent” for the cubicle I occupy. There was no prior agreement for this deduction to be made. Was this legal?

A. Probably not. Under the Texas Payday Law, all deductions (other than payroll taxes, court-ordered garnishments, and other legally authorized deductions) must be both lawful and specifically authorized in writing by the employee. If you did not authorize the rent deduction, your employer may have acted improperly.

Another related issue is whether you are owed overtime for any hours worked over 40 per week. There have been a number of cases against major brokerage firms, particularly where the financial advisers receive no salary — just straight commission.

You should meet with an employment law attorney or overtime lawyer to discuss your situation. You might also consider filing a wage claim with the Texas Workforce Commission to recover the unpaid compensation.