For a standard salary worker, payroll shouldn’t be all that hard, but not everyone gets paid a salary for their 9-5 job. Some people earn partial commission, others are straight commission, while others work odd hours with flexible overtime or quarterly bonuses. When this is the case, it’s easy for payroll to make an honest mistake and screw up your wages, but it’s also possible that your boss knows that this can be confusing and is using that complexity to prevent you from getting money that you’re legally owed.
So what should you do if you are owed a bonus or a commission that hasn’t been paid, or worse, that your company is refusing to pay? In today’s blog, we explain how a wage theft lawyer can help you get the money you are owed.
Getting Compensation For Unpaid Bonuses And Commissions In Minnesota
For a number of employees, bonuses and commissions make up a large portion of their compensation package, so it’s important that you have timely access to the full amount you are owed. In our experience, the first thing you should do if you believe that your bonus, commission or overtime pay isn’t being calculated correctly is to collect your evidence and go to human resources. You shouldn’t feel bad about questioning whether your compensation is correct, because you know the company would have an issue if payroll accidentally overpaid an employee.
The key here is to have your ducks in a row before you go to HR. Don’t just send an email saying “I think my pay is incorrect” or “Was my holiday pay calculated correctly on my last paycheck?” If you truly believe that compensation has been accidentally or intentionally withheld, collect your clear evidence, lay it out as clearly as possible, and ensure that you understand the payout structures you’re questioning. Refer to any employment agreement or contract to ensure you understand the policy you’re questioning or the bonus structure you think is incorrect. Once you have everything laid out as clearly as possible, respectfully request that your manager or Human Resources take a look at your issue. In most cases of accidental miscalculations, this is all that is needed.
Problems develop when your boss ignores this evidence, gives you a weak excuse as to why your evidence is incorrect, or decides to withhold that pay for other reasons that they believe is right even if it’s in due violation of your contract. For example, if your boss decides to withhold your bonus because you got in a car accident in a company vehicle, which cost your boss some more out of pocket expenses, this is a clear example of wage theft. Your boss or your company cannot withhold bonuses or compensation for perceived issues or for any personal issues they may have with the employee that are not expressly laid out in their contract or company policies.
Finally, we’ve also heard stories where employers have withheld bonuses and overtime pay as a form of threat to keep an employee in line. Whether that involves the employee looking the other way at safety violations or an employer opting not to pay out overtime to undocumented workers, there are some more sinister reasons as to why your compensation is being withheld, and out of fear of repercussions, many people opt not to pursue it any further.
It’s important to remember that employees are a protected class, and if you believe that compensation has been accidentally or intentionally withheld and your employer will not correct the issue, it is time to do what’s necessary and contact a wage theft lawyer like Dean Margolis. He’ll closely review your case and your contract and see if you have a valid claim. If he believes your employer is unjustly withholding compensation from you or from a collection of employees, we’ll help you move forward with a wage loss claim that gets you everything you deserve.
Don’t just let your employer get away with keeping your hard earned money because you don’t want to cause problems or you fear repercussions. It’s illegal for an employer to retaliate against an employee in situations like this, so know that there is no harm in respectfully asking questions and then taking the next legal step if you continue to be stonewalled by your employer.
For more information about wage loss rules in Minnesota, or if you have questions about unpaid bonuses, commissions, overtime or other payroll structures, reach out to Dean and the team at (952) 230-2700.