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Thread: Salary vs. Draw

  1. #1
    kjd40169 is offline Junior Member
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    Unhappy Salary vs. Draw

    What is the name of your state?Illinois

    My husband is a Paintless Dent Repair technician in Chicago, IL. He began working for a well-known PDR company in April 2004. Unfortunately for us, we thought he was being paid on a base-plus-commission deal but found out otherwise recently. He is being paid on a “draw” basis, which means anytime a tech does not meet a certain sales number for the month, they receive no commission. Instead they receive a “draw” which has to eventually be paid back to the employer. Imagine our surprise at finding out he has racked up a debt with his employer! This might not be viewed as a bad thing, but techs are forbidden to go out and find their own work. They must rely on the work provided to them by the sales managers. Is this crazy?!? Or is it just me?… Secondly, when he began working for this company he was given a certain “base/draw” amount per month. At the 10-month mark, they decided they had been overpaying him and reduced his monthly “base/draw” by $1,000. Problem here is - they also decided to have him pay this mistake back! There is absolutely nothing in writing - they take what they want, when they want! He is never forewarned - and his last paycheck was $300! Call me crazy, but a family of 4 cannot survive on a take-home pay of $600/month!

    So here is the scenario in a nutshell:
    -My husband has no control over the amount of work he does in a day/month, but he is the one that suffers when sales numbers are not met.
    -My husband is paid on a “draw”, not a base salary - which has to be paid back. So even when sales numbers ARE met in a month, his checks are docked for the draw he has had to take previously. He never gets ahead!
    -The company decided they were overpaying him and are making him pay them back for their mistake. There is nothing in writing and they do not leave him enough money to live on!
    -My husband is under a no-compete clause and cannot go to work for another dent company.

    Is this company taking away my husband’s right to earn a living??? HELP!!!
  2. #2
    Beth3 is offline Senior Member
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    And none of this was explained to him at the time he accepted the position?
    A person, who is nice to you, but rude to a waiter, is not a nice person. (This is very important. Pay attention. It never fails.)
  3. #3
    kjd40169 is offline Junior Member
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    No - nothing was explained at the time he was hired. In fact, he came away from his contract signing fully believing he was getting a base salary. Now I know since there is a signed contract that we are probably S.O.L....but there is no mention of pay or compensation in the contract. Is that normal?
  4. #4
    pattytx is offline Senior Member
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    If he really does have an employment contract (not just an offer letter, or employment agreement), then he should have it reviewed by an attorney knowledgeable in contract law. I would say, however, that it is very rare for an employee in your husband's line of work to have an actual contract. Most employment contracts are reserved for senior, senior executives.
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    You have not won the law suit lottery; in fact, you haven't even won the law suit scratch-off.
  5. #5
    kjd40169 is offline Junior Member
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    I'll do that - thank you for the advice. His contract appears to be more concerned with non-competition, which is still very bad for us because it stops him from being able to earn a living elsewhere since he isn't able to do it here. I think my biggest question at this point is - can a company really back people into a corner like this? Although he signed a contract stating he would not work for another PDR company, THIS company isn't paying him. They're giving him no choice BUT to look for work elsewhere - however, we run the risk of being sued if he does.

    The draw fiasco is just a tough lesson learned. We did find a Compensation and Benefits form he was given when he started and it does state that he would be paid on a draw - we just had no clue what a draw was and it was never explained. HOWEVER - this form also states that before a draw can be reduced by the employer, the employee would be notified in writing within 14 days. That has NEVER happened! Can we take action?
  6. #6
    pattytx is offline Senior Member
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    If the compensation package was not in the document, it probably wasn't an "employment contract" anyway, just a noncompete agreement. However, it should still be reviewed by an attorney, as the terms of this particular agreement may or may not be enforceable, depending upon the laws in Illinois (it may be considered over-restrictive).
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    You have not won the law suit lottery; in fact, you haven't even won the law suit scratch-off.
  7. #7
    Beth3 is offline Senior Member
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    I agree that your husband should consult with an attorney. If this compensation program wasn't explained to him when he started, it's possible that may nullify the non-compete agreement since your husband didn't make an "informed decision" when he joined the company. An attorney will have to advise him on that though.
    A person, who is nice to you, but rude to a waiter, is not a nice person. (This is very important. Pay attention. It never fails.)
  8. #8
    kjd40169 is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks so much! You all have been very helpful! What a great site this is!

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