Ethics

meatloaf

Well-known member
Feb 10, 2008
373
Gilbert AZ
I work for Sears as an hourly plus commission sales associate. Last year during the Christmas season (an 8 week period) we had our effective commission rate lowed ( from 1.75% to 1.5% ). I asked them about this and of course they would not admit to it. This year we have a new store manager and he admitted that Sears does this. We are about to enter this same time period again. Is this legal and is it standard practice for companies with hourly plus commissioned sales associates to do this? Last year I lost approx $700 due to the rate reduction. I'd like to hear your feeback on this matter.
Thanks
 

dmanb2b

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 4, 2009
3,734
NY
I hate it for you, but unless there is a stated minimum commision % you are required to be paid in your employment contract, they are free to do as they wish. In this environment, companies are rarley paying anything more than the minimum they have to to retain employees given the pool of resources available on the unemployment lines.

Not letting you know of the decrease is not right, but mind you even when they do, you really have to read in between the lines.

I'm holding my breath right now to see what our health benefit costs will be for 2011 :shock: They have consistently gone up 5-15% per year, but now we received the "...in addition to overall rising healthcare costs, we continue to analyze how the healthcare reform bill will impact premiums and continue to work toward providing you viable healthcare coverage options..."...said the way I would...forget steaks and stock up on chicken breast when it's on sale...it's better for you anyway :mrgreen:

Sad days, when you are an above average employee, lucky enough to receive a raise yet you're net pay is decreasing :grrrr:
 

meatloaf

Well-known member
Feb 10, 2008
373
Gilbert AZ
Thanks for the feedback. It just doesn't seem fair that they take the busy time of the year to up their profits and reduce ours. We put up with the cr*p all year waiting for this time to come so we can make some money and then get screwed out of it. You have no idea what we will have to endure during the next 8 weeks, and we will receive less in return for all of our hard work.
 

Richard320

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
20,414
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
It's probably legal, if they notify you of a change in rate. I'd call it unethical, though. You share the low periods with them, why can't they share the windfall with you?

I hurt my back at work last week. Pulled a muscle rather severely. The company was good about sending me to the clinic and all that. I was put on restricted duties, which essentially means sitting on my butt doing nothing. They said if I stay home, it's a lost time injury, which jacks up their rates, so it works better for them if I'm there doing nothing. I can accept that. However, they brought around a form with change in pay plan. While I'm hourly instead of "flagging" my rate has dropped from $18.50 to $10.00. I'm not happy about it, but at least there will be no surprises on payday. Actually, the money is the least of it. I'm bored to insanity. Despite some very reasonable restrictions (no lifting heavy weights like tires) they'd rather play it safe and have me lift nothing.

About once a year they examine the various pay scales. We have salary, hourly, "flag", base plus commission, and some 100% commission, depending on job duties. If they need to motivate some people, they alter the plan, so that if you are already productive, you won't lose any, if you're above- average, you'll still do well, and if you're an underperformer you lose. They print it out and distribute it. Then you return a slip that says you understand and accept the terms and sign it. If you don't like it, time to start job hunting. Business is business after all, but at least they are open and honest about it.
 

kirbdoc

Active member
Jun 13, 2010
40
Pensacola FL
Your preaching to the choir, every time I turn around the govt cuts more payments to me while health insurance, benifits and salaries go up. If the 30% medicare cuts go through I'll probably have to drop medicare as it will drop below my break even point. or will have to borrow money to pay our employe salaries on top of the second job.
 

dmanb2b

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 4, 2009
3,734
NY
meatloaf said:
You have no idea what we will have to endure during the next 8 weeks, and we will receive less in return for all of our hard work.
Trust me the grass is always greener on the other side :lol: ...I certainly do not envy the tought of having to deal with shoppers for eight weeks straight, but I can relate as you can imagine having no days off (incl sat/sun) from the day after new years until 4/15 (working with clients 12-15hr days...you guessed it...accountant :hammer: ), yet receive the same salary. I also hear you on the unethical part, and notification, but come to think of it, it's no different than most co's bonus plans being cut significantly YTY...I'll certainly agree a 16% commission plan reduction is not pleasant news :rant: , but if it helps Sears stay profitable and enable you to stay employed...from that perspective, it could be worse.

Anyone here miss the late 90's - 2007?
 

dmanb2b

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 4, 2009
3,734
NY
bk406 said:
dmanb2b said:
Anyone here miss the late 90's - 2007?
No, I was poor in the late 90's. :wink:
I just hope they patch the AMT before December 31st or I'm nailed big time.
:oops: oops..anyway, I doubt AMT will get patched and if they do, they'll figure out another way to fund the debit card :goodjob:

We should enjoy a cold one some day :cheers: , I'm sure there plenty of folks interested, but I always love to hear a great comeback story :goodjob:
 

X-PertPool

TFP Expert
In The Industry
Jun 12, 2009
1,385
Exeter, PA
If i ran sears I'd have the normal rate at 1.5% and raise to 1.75% if you sell a certain amount as an incentive during the holiday period.
 

Beez

LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2009
785
Dallas, TX
I'll tell you how I would spin it if I were in Sears management: Your year round compensation should be 1.5%, but during the slow periods we bump it up to 1.75% to help you out. :twisted:

BTW, I do not endorse this mindset. I'm with you OP, that some sleazy tactics... :whip:
 

greif

Well-known member
Jul 5, 2010
59
think of it this way you should feel good to make sears more money then the CEO and board of directors can give themsevles mutlimillon $ bonuses.... cause they need it
 

meatloaf

Well-known member
Feb 10, 2008
373
Gilbert AZ
Talk about getting the shaft! I just found out today that the appliance sales people, who are on straight commission are getting their commission rates cut by 50% to 60%. Just where is their incentive to sell any products? These people aren't making any money now. Sears has a slogan on tv, Sears - life well spent They should change that to Sears - life well wasted.
 

Davegvg

LifeTime Supporter
Nov 30, 2008
326
meatloaf said:
I work for Sears as an hourly plus commission sales associate. Last year during the Christmas season (an 8 week period) we had our effective commission rate lowed ( from 1.75% to 1.5% ). I asked them about this and of course they would not admit to it. This year we have a new store manager and he admitted that Sears does this. We are about to enter this same time period again. Is this legal and is it standard practice for companies with hourly plus commissioned sales associates to do this? Last year I lost approx $700 due to the rate reduction. I'd like to hear your feeback on this matter.
Thanks
How long have you worked in sales?

Without an explicit doc that spells out what if any "rate" is paid out then there is none and they can alter it at will.

Dont ask anyone to "tell you" anything - tell them to put the policy in writing,and then live with it or ratchet your complaint up Get it in writing - if not bail and go somewhere that will.

Im not saying youll get an employment contract, but you should ALWAYS have a comp plan that spell everything out.

Dont you have a comp plan you signed? Ive never had any sales job without a "plan".

Ive been in sales for 2 decades as a retail floor guy, one of a two man team, bag carrying rep for a reseller, a factory rep, sales manager, a sales VP, and a business owners and partners. There was ALWAY something that spelled out the deal.

If not- its complete and utter amateur hour and I'd run fast and run far from that kind of douchebaggery.

Uncle Dave