+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    deckfluf is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    12

    CA Unemployment - voluntary quit - commission only

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? CA

    Commentator help!

    I was let go from my outside sales position in March 09.

    Quickly took another sales position, same industry, with a 3 month base of $2,325, after that a 3 month base of $325. (this $325 represents car & phone allowance but is considered salary as the company does not reimburse expenses) commissions would be paid on all sales. From April 15th - July27th I made approximately $2,500 in sales, netting approximately $150 in commissions which have yet to be paid.

    The owner of the company asked me how I was going to survive and I asked him if he was letting me go. He responded that he does not fire anyone in a commission based position, they can leave at will (in the 3 months I had been there, 2 other reps had left who started one and two months before me, essentially a churn and burn environment.) i requested to go 1099 so that I could at least work was in the pipeline (no guarantees that they would close) and work another job. He refused this offer.

    The following Monday, I gave my notice. I reopened my claim and received my continued claim form as well as notice of hearing for 8/26. I gave the reason for leaving as reduction of wages to $1.88 an hour and falls below prevailing wage. I based this on EDD Section 22-1256
    (3) . . . the leaving is due to the fact that an individual after diligently working on a piece-rate or commission basis for a reasonable time is paid substantially less than the wages prevailing for similar work in the locality.

    My commissions earned in 2008 were approximately $40,000. For the two months of 09 that I worked for my prior employer, it was approximate $7,000.

    Clearly, a big difference. Do you think it will fly?

    I kick myself for taking this job, but was afraid of losing all benefits due to refusing work. I'm too honest to have lied on my claim form that I had not refused any work.
  2. #2
    pattytx is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    small town, PA
    Posts
    9,442
    I'm not commentator, but I do have a comment.

    Since outside salespersons, don't have to be paid ANY salary (although the law does require reimbursement of business-related expenses), the fact that you were no longer earning commissions, IMHO, is not a qualifying reason for quitting that would get you UI benefits. That's one of the risks of outside sales.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    You have not won the law suit lottery; in fact, you haven't even won the law suit scratch-off.
  3. #3
    commentator is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    4,726
    Hi there patty! You know I can't be quiet!

    Working for less than you'd be paid at a minimum wage is generally frowned upon. The unemployment system doesn't usually ask people to worsen their circumstances, which in this situation would be working for less than they are actually able to draw in benefits. That's quite a trick. And since it was a full time sales position, you are not able to draw partial benefits and work there. True, this is a possibility with commission sales, but since they made a legitimate offer, hired him, paid him the base, they were in some way representing that there was a living to be made after the base ended. And it appears to me that they're getting some work for free or at least very cheap from all these employees who then quit when they see they can't make the commission. Maybe it's legal, but it's sort of fishy sounding.

    I'd say you should do pretty well in this hearing, I'd say you have a fairly good chance of being reinstated. Though you did voluntarily quit the job, the reason you did is quite appropriate. Do not brag about your honesty in not turning down the job in the first place, and do not harp on the similarity to your old job. Times were different then. You did make a good faith effort to resolve the situation before quitting (asking for the 1099 status) so be sure to work that into the information you present at the hearing.

    My next word to you is do not apply for jobs you do not want. If it's not a good enough job, and hey, I would honestly think that selling anything on commission right now would be a bit tough...apply for something else, something better.

    Any commission sales job is going to let anybody dumb enough to sign up for it come to work for them, because they might sell a little something. If you apply for a commission sales job, they're going to hire you. Or at least offer you the job. When your unemployment is gone, then you take anything and everything out there. But while you are drawing is a good time to look for something that at least pays more than you can draw.
    Last edited by commentator; 08-18-2009 at 07:51 AM.
  4. #4
    pattytx is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    small town, PA
    Posts
    9,442
    Quote Originally Posted by commentator View Post
    Working for less than minimum wage is generally frowned upon.
    But it was outside sales, in which the exempt status requires neither minimum wage or a fixed salary. Just saying.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    You have not won the law suit lottery; in fact, you haven't even won the law suit scratch-off.
  5. #5
    commentator is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    4,726
    But that's wage law, not unemployment policy. In unemployment-land, the concept is that you need to be recompensed at least as much as you were receiving in unemployment benefits for it to be a suitable job. So they're not asking you to leave unemployment to take a job that pays so little, even if it is commission only, that you are both out of the labor market (job attached,fully employed) and making so little you can't make it by the lowest of standards (minimum wage, the federal poverty level, the amount of unemployment you were receiving) That's considered a pretty good job related reason to quit your job.

    Some of the contract style deals for cable installers, service techs, etc can actually end up costing the person money to work, in other words a negative cash flow. And if they're contractors, they have no recourse but to find something else. I maintain that these commission only deals know they're that way, know the money isn't out there to be made, and so are really not on the up and up. I don't feel too sorry for them. Remember, he's not drawing from wages made with them, either, he'd be back on his old claim, having made a good faith effort at making a go of this new job.
    Last edited by commentator; 08-18-2009 at 09:05 AM.
  6. #6
    deckfluf is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    12

    Commentator - claim denied

    Just got the form today - your interpretation please?

    You are not eligible to receive benefits under CA Unemployment Insurance Code Section 1256 Beginning 7/26 and continuing until you return to work after the disqualifying act and earn $2250 or more in bona fide employment and you contat the above office to reopen your claim

    You quit your last job because your commission earnings were low. Your commissions were not substantially less than your prior earnings. After consideration you do not meet the requirements for payment of benefits. Section 1256 provides an individual is disqualified if the department finds he voluntarily quit his most recent work without good cause. Section 1260 A provides an individucal disqualified under section 1256 is disqualified untel he subsequent to the disqualifying act performs services in bona fide employment for whe he she recieve renumation equal to or in excess of five times his weekly benefit amount.

    Are they giving me two reasons here or telling me that I can't reopen the claim again?

    I'll definitely appeal - the phone interviewer's English was very good and of course won't put that into play. But I think he based it on the small base I was earning that had been further reduced. Total Commissions were perhaps $150. I went back for my commission that I made at my earlier job from 1/09 through 3/09 and they were $15,000.

    Thoughts on how to word the appeal properly?
  7. #7
    pattytx is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    small town, PA
    Posts
    9,442
    You can certainly appeal. I don't know what will happen though.

    However, if the determination is upheld, that means exactly what the letter said.
    earn $2250 or more in bona fide employment and you contat the above office to reopen your claim
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    You have not won the law suit lottery; in fact, you haven't even won the law suit scratch-off.
  8. #8
    deckfluf is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    12

    follow up & word of warning

    Patti - thanks for the response. Got on the line with EDD and she wasn't much of a help.

    Anyhow - word of warning to those who do a voluntary quit. You won't be eligable for other benefits once denied.

    I went to social services today to apply for General Relief and food stamps. Claim was denied until late October for General Relief - 90 days from voluntary quit and late september for food stamps.

    A little bitter right now - I've paid my taxes and would have hoped for some relief (yes i know that UI would be paid by previous employer due to short tenure and he wouldn't have denied it). Stick it out n don't do anything overt to get yourself fired. do your job at minimal standards until you're fired. I was told I wouldn't be fired under any circumstances other than gross misconduct. I'll appeal but meantime, I'm screwed.

Similar Threads

  1. Unemployment for a voluntary quit
    By cafb5 in forum Hiring, Firing & Wrongful Termination
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 04-12-2011, 08:35 AM
  2. Replies: 4
    Last Post: 10-29-2010, 09:07 AM
  3. unemployment voluntary quit
    By bigbagzz in forum Wage & Salary Issues
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 01-05-2008, 09:34 AM
  4. unemployment voluntary quit
    By bigbagzz in forum Hiring, Firing & Wrongful Termination
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 01-03-2008, 01:02 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

© 1995-2012 Advice Company, All Rights Reserved

FreeAdvice® has been providing millions of consumers with outstanding advice, free, since 1995. While not a substitute for personal advice from a licensed professional, it is available AS IS, subject to our Disclaimer and Terms & Conditions Of Use.