Q. We have an employee on pure commission who is taking three days off this week. Can we subtract the average of three days’ commission from his check? — L.L., Texas
A. It depends. The law varies from state to state, but for the most part, employers are required by state law to pay commissioned employees all commissions earned pursuant to the employer’s policy, practice or agreement. This means, unless you have a commission agreement with the employee or a written policy already on the books that specifically authorizes you to make deductions from commissions earned, you probably can’t make such deductions without violating state law.
Remember: When you’re unhappy with an employee, discipline through payroll deductions is almost always the wrong way to go.
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