When releases do not work: Employees and Workers Compensation

State Law prohibits releases for employees if they are covered by Worker’s Compensation.

Prior to the creation of Worker’s Compensation, if an employee was injured at work he had to sue his employer and prove the employer was negligent to recover for his injuries. This created problems for both parties. Injured employees went bankrupt attempting to win a suit and employers injured employees rather than keeping workplaces safe. It was cheaper to fight a lawsuit then make a workplace safe.

With the creation of worker’s compensation the employers and employees both gave up and received benefits. Basically, in return for not suing the employer the employee receives medical care and some of their lost wages.

An employee gives up the right to sue the employer if they accept worker’s compensation benefits. The employer is required to carry worker’s compensation on employees or they can suffer fines or damages levied by the state or if sued by the employee additional damages over what are owed.

Colorado Statutes state that if you accept worker’s compensation you give up other rights to sue.

C.R.S. §§ 8-41-104. Acceptance as surrender of other remedies

An election under the provisions of section 8-40-302 (5) and in compliance with the provisions of articles 40 to 47 of this title, including the provisions for insurance, shall be construed to be a surrender by the employer, such employer’s insurance carrier, and the employee of their rights to any method, form, or amount of compensation or determination thereof or to any cause of action, action at law, suit in equity, or statutory or common-law right, remedy, or proceeding for or on account of such personal injuries or death of such employee other than as provided in said articles, and shall be an acceptance of all the provisions of said articles, and shall bind the employee personally, and, for compensation for such employee’s death, the employee’s personal representatives, surviving spouse, and next of kin, as well as the employer, such employer’s insurance carrier, and those conducting their business during bankruptcy or insolvency.

Georgia Statutes state:

O.C.G.A. § 34-9-11 (2013)

§ 34-9-11.  Exclusivity of rights and remedies granted to employee under chapter; immunity granted to construction design professionals

(a) The rights and the remedies granted to an employee by this chapter shall exclude all other rights and remedies of such employee, his personal representative, parents, dependents, or next of kin, at common law or otherwise, on account of such injury, loss of service, or death; provided, however, that no employee shall be deprived of any right to bring an action against any third-party tortfeasor, other than an employee of the same employer or any person who, pursuant to a contract or agreement with an employer, provides workers’ compensation benefits to an injured employee, notwithstanding the fact that no common-law master-servant relationship or contract of employment exists between the injured employee and the person providing the benefits, and other than a construction design professional who is retained to perform professional services on or in conjunction with a construction project on which the employee was working when injured, or any employee of a construction design professional who is assisting in the performance of professional services on the construction site on which the employee was working when injured, unless the construction design professional specifically assumes by written contract the safety practices for the project. The immunity provided by this subsection to a construction design professional shall not apply to the negligent preparation of design plans and specifications, nor shall it apply to the tortious activities of the construction design professional or the employees of the construction design professional while on the construction site where the employee was injured and where those activities are the proximate cause of the injury to the employee or to any professional surveys specifically set forth in the contract or any intentional misconduct committed by the construction design professional or his employees.

(b) As used in subsection (a) of this Code section, the term “construction design professional” means any person who is an architect, professional engineer, landscape architect, geologist, or land surveyor who has been issued a license pursuant to Chapter 4, 15, 19, or 23 of Title 43 or any corporation organized to render professional services in Georgia through the practice of one or more such technical professions as architecture, professional engineering, landscape architecture, geology, or land surveying.

(c) The immunity provided by this subsection shall apply and extend to the businesses using the services of a temporary help contracting firm, as such term is defined in Code Section 34-8-46, or an employee leasing company, as such term is defined in Code Section 34-8-32, when the benefits required by this chapter are provided by either the temporary help contracting firm or the employee leasing company or the business using the services of either such firm or company. A temporary help contracting firm or an employee leasing company shall be deemed to be a statutory employer for the purposes of this chapter.

Illinois law states:

§ 820 ILCS 310/5. (Text of Section WITH the changes made by P.A. 89-7, which has been held unconstitutional) [Exclusive remedy against employer; third party liability]

Sec. 5. (a) There is no common law or statutory right to recover compensation or damages from the employer, his insurer, his broker, any service organization retained by the employer, his insurer or his broker to provide safety service, advice or recommendations for the employer or the agents or employees of any of them for or on account of any injury to health, disease, or death therefrom, other than for the compensation herein provided or for damages as provided in Section 3 of this Act [820 ILCS 310/3]. This Section shall not affect any right to compensation under the “Workers’ Compensation Act” [820 ILCS 305/1 et seq.].

No compensation is payable under this Act for any condition of physical or mental ill-being, disability, disablement, or death for which compensation is recoverable on account of accidental injury under the “Workers’ Compensation Act“.

Consequently the battle in worker’s compensation cases is whether or not someone was an employee. Several people are automatically excluded; first independent contractors are not employees. Interns are probably a revolving area of the law, and are probably moving close to being called employees. Several recent federal regulatory changes have required more education for interns and several lawsuits have resulted in interns receiving pay. If interns are paid, then they are employees covered under worker’s compensation.

Interns that have been injured and not covered by worker’s compensation are prevented from recovering because of state law, not because of unequal bargaining power.

The prohibition against lawsuits does not extend to malfunctioning equipment or any third party that might have caused the injury. An example would be an employee working on a road that is hit and injured by a car. The employee’s worker’s compensation would cover his lost wages and medical bills. The injured employee would still sue the driver of the car. However the worker’s compensation insurance company would have the right to recover any damages first before the injured employee based on its subrogation rights.

Simply put, an injury on the job provides guarantees not lawsuits. Those guarantees vary by state, but generally it means 100% of the injured employee’s medical bills are paid and a percentage of their income is replaced. If necessary additional retraining and/or long term disability if the injury is severe enough or permanent.

Employers don’t have to worry about being sued and employees do not have to worry about any defenses to their claims. Statues state that Assumption of the Risk is not a defense to a worker’s comp claim. (C.R.S. 8-41-101 (2013))

8-41-102. Liability of employer complying

An employer who has complied with the provisions of articles 40 to 47 of this title, including the provisions relating to insurance, shall not be subject to the provisions of section 8-41-101; nor shall such employer or the insurance carrier, if any, insuring the employer’s liability under said articles be subject to any other liability for the death of or personal injury to any employee, except as provided in said articles; and all causes of action, actions at law, suits in equity, proceedings, and statutory and common law rights and remedies for and on account of such death of or personal injury to any such employee and accruing to any person are abolished except as provided in said articles.

There is no litigation between employers and employees any more. Now that type of litigation resolves around whether or not someone was an employee. If you are an employer, make sure every person understands that situation and you can prove it, either in writing or some other way. You also must be able to prove that someone is not an employee according to the law. Just saying someone is not an employee is not enough.

Incorrect Articles

Waivers, Employer/Employees, and Bargaining Position

Employer/Employee Waiver Enforced Despite Unequal Bargaining Power

Waiver Protects Chimp Sanctuary from Suit by College Intern

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Wisconsin Sales Rep Statute

Wisconsin Sales Rep Statute

REGULATION OF TRADE

CHAPTER 134. MISCELLANEOUS TRADE REGULATIONS

Wis. Stat. § 134.93 (2012)

134.93. Payment of commissions to independent sales representatives.

(1) DEFINITIONS.

In this section:

(a) “Commission” means compensation accruing to an independent sales representative for payment by a principal, the rate of which is expressed as a percentage of the dollar amount of orders or sales made by the independent sales representative or as a percentage of the dollar amount of profits generated by the independent sales representative.

(b) “Independent sales representative” means a person, other than an insurance agent or broker, who contracts with a principal to solicit wholesale orders and who is compensated, in whole or in part, by commission. “Independent sales representative” does not include any of the following:

1. A person who places orders or purchases products for the persons own account for resale.

2. A person who is an employee of the principal and whose wages must be paid as required under s. 109.03(3) “Principal” means a sole proprietorship, partnership, joint venture, corporation or other business entity, whether or not having a permanent or fixed place of business in this state, that does all of the following:

1. Manufactures, produces, imports or distributes a product for wholesale.

2. Contracts with an independent sales representative to solicit orders for the product.

3. Compensates the independent sales representative, in whole or in part, by commission.

(2) COMMISSIONS; WHEN DUE.

(a) Subject to pars. (b) and (c), a commission becomes due as provided in the contract between the principal and the independent sales representative.

(b) If there is no written contract between the principal and the independent sales representative, or if the written contract does not provide for when a commission becomes due, or if the written contract is ambiguous or unclear as to when a commission becomes due, a commission becomes due according to the past practice used by the principal and the independent sales representative.

(c) If it cannot be determined under par. (a) or (b) when a commission becomes due, a commission becomes due according to the custom and usage prevalent in this state for the particular industry of the principal and independent sales representative.

(3) NOTICE OF TERMINATION OR CHANGE IN CONTRACT.

Unless otherwise provided in a written contract between a principal and an independent sales representative, a principal shall provide an independent sales representative with at least 90 days prior written notice of any termination, cancellation, nonrenewal or substantial change in the competitive circumstances of the contract between the principal and the independent sales representative.

(4) COMMISSIONS DUE; PAYMENT ON TERMINATION OF CONTRACT.

A principal shall pay an independent sales representative all commissions that are due to the independent sales representative at the time of termination, cancellation or nonrenewal of the contract between the principal and the independent sales representative as required under sub. (2)

(5) CIVIL LIABILITY.

Any principal that violates sub. (2) by failing to pay a commission due to an independent sales representative as required under sub. (2) is liable to the independent sales representative for the amount of the commission due and for exemplary damages of not more than 200% of the amount of the commissions due. In addition, the principal shall pay to the independent sales representative, notwithstanding the limitations specified in s. 799.25 or 814.04, all actual costs, including reasonable actual attorney fees, incurred by the independent sales representative in bringing an action, obtaining a judgment and collecting on a judgment under this subsection.

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Alabama Sales Representative

MICHIE’S ALABAMA CODE ANNOTATED

TITLE 8 Commercial Law and Consumer Protection

CHAPTER 24 Sales Representative’s Commission Contracts

Go to the Alabama Code Archive Directory

Code of Ala. § 8-24-1 (2012)

§ 8-24-1. Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the following meanings, respectively, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

(1) Commission. Compensation accruing to a sales representative for payment by a principal, the rate of which is expressed as a percentage of the dollar amount of certain orders or sales.

(2) Principal. Any person who does all of the following:

a. Engages in the business of manufacturing, producing, importing, or distributing a product or products for sale to customers who purchase the product or products for resale.

b. Utilizes sales representatives to solicit orders for the product or products.

c. Compensates the sales representatives, in whole or in part, by commission.

(3) Sales representative. Any person who engages in the business of soliciting, on behalf of a principal, orders for the purchase at wholesale of the product or products of the principal, but does not include a person who places orders or purchases for his or her own account for resale, or a person engaged in home solicitation sales.

(4) Termination. The end of services performed by the sales representative for the principal, whether by discharge, resignation, or expiration of a contract.

§ 8-24-2. Sales representative’s commission contracts; commission due.

(a) The terms of the contract between the principal and sales representative shall determine when a commission is due.

(b) If the time when the commission is due cannot be determined by a contract between the principal and sales representative, the past practices between the parties shall control, or if there are no past practices, the custom and usage prevalent in this state for the business that is the subject of the relationship between the parties shall control.

(c) All commissions that are due at the time of termination of a contract between a sales representative and principal shall be paid within thirty days after the date of termination. Commissions that become due after the termination date shall be paid within thirty days after the date on which the commissions become due.

§ 8-24-3. Failure to pay commission; damages; attorney’s fees.

A principal who fails to pay a commission as required by Section 8-24-2 is liable to the sales representative in a civil action for three times the damages sustained by the sales representative plus reasonable attorney’s fees and court costs.

§ 8-24-4. Nonresident principal; personal jurisdiction.

A principal who is not a resident of this state and who enters into a contract subject to this chapter is considered to be doing business in this state for purposes of the exercise of personal jurisdiction over the principal.

§ 8-24-5. Waiver void; unrestricted rights or remedies.

(a) This chapter may not be waived, whether by express waiver or by any provision in a contract attempting to make the contract or agreement subject to the laws of another state. A waiver of any provision of this chapter is void.

(b) This chapter does not invalidate or restrict any other right or remedy available to a sales representative or preclude a sales representative from seeking to recover in one action on all claims against a principal.

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Arizona Sales Representative

ARIZONA REVISED STATUTES

TITLE 44. TRADE AND COMMERCE

CHAPTER 11. REGULATIONS CONCERNING PARTICULAR BUSINESSES

ARTICLE 15. SALES REPRESENTATIVE CONTRACTS

Go to the Arizona Code Archive Directory

A.R.S. § 44-1798.01 (2012)

§ 44-1798.01. Sales representative contract

A. The sales representative and the principal shall enter into a written contract. The contract shall set forth the method by which the sales representative’s commission is to be computed and paid.

B. The principal shall provide each sales representative with a signed copy of the contract. The principal shall obtain a signed receipt for the contract from each sales representative.

§ 44-1798.02. Termination of sales representative contract; payment of earned commissions

A. If an agreement of services is terminated for any reason both of the following apply:

1. All the commissions due through the time of termination shall be paid to the sales representative within a period of not to exceed thirty days after termination.

2. All the commissions that become due after the effective date of termination shall be paid to the sales representative within fourteen days after they become due.

B. The principal shall pay the sales representative all commissions due while the business relationship is in effect in accordance with the agreement between the parties.

C. A principal who fails to comply with subsections A and B of this section is liable to the sales representative for damages in the amount of three times the sum of the unpaid commissions owed to the sales representative.

D. The prevailing party in an action brought under this section is entitled to the cost of the suit, including reasonable attorney fees.

E. Commissions shall be paid at the usual place of payment unless the sales representative requests that the com-missions be sent by registered mail. If, in accordance with a request by the sales representative, the sales representative’s commissions are sent by mail, the commissions are deemed to have been paid as of the date of the registered postmark on the envelope.

F. Unless payment is made pursuant to a binding and final written settlement agreement and release, the acceptance by a sales representative of a commission payment from the principal does not constitute a release as to the balance of any commissions claimed due. A full release of all commission claims that is required by a principal as a condition to a partial commission payment is null and void.

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Arkansas Sales Representative

Arkansas Code of 1987 Annotated Official Edition

© 1987-2012 by the State of Arkansas

All rights reserved.

Title 4 Business and Commercial Law

Subtitle 6. Business Practices

Chapter 70 General Provisions

Subchapter 3 — Sales Representatives

A.C.A. § 4-70-306 (2012)

4-70-301. Definitions.

As used in this subchapter, unless the context otherwise requires:

(1) “Commission” means compensation paid a sales representative by a principal in an amount based on a percentage of the dollar amount of certain orders for, or sales of, the principal’s product;

(2) “Principal” means a person who:

(A) Does not have a permanent or fixed place of business in this state;

(B) Manufactures, produces, imports, or distributes a product for sale to customers who purchase the product for resale;

(C) Uses a sales representative to solicit orders for the product; and

(D) Compensates the sales representative in whole or in part by commission; and

(3) “Sales representative” means a person who solicits on behalf of a principal orders for the purchase at wholesale of the principal’s product. The term “sales representative” does not include a person who places orders for or purchases the product for his or her own account for resale, or is engaged in door-to-door sales regulated by § 4-89-101 et seq.

4-70-302. Sales representatives’ contracts — Limitation.

(a) A contract between a principal and a sales representative under which the sales representative is to solicit wholesale orders within this state must be in writing and set forth the method by which the sales representative’s commission is to be computed and paid.

(b) The principal shall provide the sales representative with a copy of the contract.

(c) A provision in the contract establishing venue for an action arising under the contract in a state other than this state is void.

4-70-303. Payment in absence of contract.

If a compensation agreement between a sales representative and a principal that is not in writing is terminated, the principal shall pay all commissions due the sales representative within thirty (30) working days after the date of the termination.

4-70-304. Jurisdiction.

A principal who is not a resident of this state and who enters into a contract subject to this subchapter is considered to be doing business in this state for purposes of the exercise of personal jurisdiction over the principal.

4-70-305. Waivers prohibited.

A provision of this subchapter may not be waived, whether by express waiver or by attempt to make a contract or agreement subject to the laws of another state. A waiver of a provision of this subchapter is void.

4-70-306. Damages and attorney’s fees.

A principal who fails to comply with a provision of a contract under § 4-70-302 relating to payment of a commission or fails to pay a commission as required by § 4-70-303 is liable to the sales representative in a civil action for three (3) times the damages sustained by the sales representative, plus reasonable attorney’s fees and costs.

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Colorado Sales Rep

Colorado Revised Statutes

ARTICLE 66

WHOLESALE SALES REPRESENTATIVES

12-66-101. Legislative declaration.

The general assembly hereby finds, determines, and declares that independent wholesale sales representatives are a key ingredient to the Colorado economy. The general assembly further finds and declares that wholesale sales representatives spend many hours developing their territory in order to properly market their products. Therefore, it is the intent of the general assembly to provide security and clarify the relations between distributors, jobbers, or manufacturers and their wholesale sales representatives.

12-66-102. Jurisdiction over nonresident representatives

A distributor, jobber, or manufacturer who is not a resident of Colorado and who enters into any written contract or written sales agreement regulated by this article shall be deemed to be doing business in Colorado for purposes of personal jurisdiction.

12-66-103. Damages.

(1) A distributor, jobber, or manufacturer who knowingly fails to pay commissions as provided in any written contract or written sales agreement shall be liable to the wholesale sales representative in a civil action for treble the damages proved at trial.

(2) In a civil action brought by a wholesale sales representative pursuant to this section, the prevailing party shall be entitled to reasonable attorney fees and costs in addition to any other recovery.

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Illinois Sales Representative

ILLINOIS COMPILED STATUTES ANNOTATED

CHAPTER 820. EMPLOYMENT

WAGES AND HOURS

SALES REPRESENTATIVE ACT

GO TO THE ILLINOIS STATUTES ARCHIVE DIRECTORY

820 ILCS 120/0.01 (2012)

[Prior to 1/1/93 cited as: Ill. Rev. Stat., Ch. 48, para. 2250]

§ 820 ILCS 120/0.01. Short title

Sec. 0.01. Short title. This Act may be cited as the Sales Representative Act.

§ 820 ILCS 120/1. [Terms defined]

Sec. 1. As used in this Act:

(1) “Commission” means compensation accruing to a sales representative for payment by a principal, the rate of which is expressed as a percentage of the dollar amount of orders or sales or as a percentage of the dollar amount of profits.

(2) When a commission becomes due shall be determined in the following manner:

(A) The terms of the contract between the principal and salesperson shall control;

(B) If there is no contract, or if the terms of the contract do not provide when the commission becomes due, or the terms are ambiguous or unclear, the past practice used by the parties shall control;

(C) If neither (A) nor (B) can be used to clearly ascertain when the commission becomes due, the custom and usage prevalent in this State for the parties’ particular industry shall control.

(3) “Principal” means a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation or other business entity whether or not it has a permanent or fixed place of business in this State and which:

(A) Manufactures, produces, imports, or distributes a product for sale;

(B) Contracts with a sales representative to solicit orders for the product; and

(C) Compensates the sales representative, in whole or in part, by commission.

(4) “Sales representative” means a person who contracts with a principal to solicit orders and who is compensated, in whole or in part, by commission, but shall not include one who places orders or purchases for his own account for resale or one who qualifies as an employee of the principal pursuant to the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act [820 ILCS 115/1 et seq.].

§ 820 ILCS 120/2. [Commissions due after termination of contract]

Sec. 2. All commissions due at the time of termination of a contract between a sales representative and principal shall be paid within 13 days of termination, and commissions that become due after termination shall be paid within 13 days of the date on which such commissions become due. Any provision in any contract between a sales representative and principal purporting to waive any of the provisions of this Act shall be void.

§ 820 ILCS 120/3. [Exemplary damages; payment of attorney’s fees and court costs]

Sec. 3. A principal who fails to comply with the provisions of Section 2 [820 ILCS 120/2] concerning timely payment or with any contractual provision concerning timely payment of commissions due upon the termination of the contract with the sales representative, shall be liable in a civil action for exemplary damages in an amount which does not exceed 3 times the amount of the commissions owed to the sales representative. Additionally, such principal shall pay the sales representative’s reasonable attorney’s fees and court costs.

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Indiana Sales Representative 24-4-7-0.1

BURNS INDIANA STATUTES ANNOTATED

Title 24 Trade Regulations; Consumer Sales and Credit

Article 4 Regulated Businesses

Chapter 7 Contracts with Wholesale Sales Representatives

Go to the Indiana Code Archive Directory

Burns Ind. Code Ann. § 24-4-7-0.1 (2012)

24-4-7-0.1. Applicability of IC 24-4-7 to contracts formed before September 1, 1985.

The addition of this chapter by P.L.238-1985 does not apply to contracts formed before September 1, 1985.

24-4-7-1. “Commission” defined.

As used in this chapter, “commission” means compensation that accrues to a sales representative, for payment by a principal, at a rate expressed as a percentage of the dollar amount of orders taken or sales made by the sales representative.

24-4-7-2. “Person” defined.

As used in this chapter, “person” means an individual, corporation, limited liability company, partnership, unincorporated association, estate, or trust.

24-4-7-3. “Principal” defined.

As used in this chapter, “principal” means a person who:

(1) Manufactures, produces, imports, sells, or distributes a product for wholesale;

(2) Contracts with a sales representative to solicit wholesale orders for the product; and

(3) Compensates the sales representative, in whole or in part, by commission.

24-4-7-4. “Sales representative” defined.

As used in this chapter, “sales representative” means a person who:

(1) Contracts with a principal to solicit wholesale orders in Indiana; and

(2) Is compensated, in whole or in part, by commission.

The term does not include a person who places orders or purchases on the person’s own account for resale.

24-4-7-5. Payment of commissions following termination of contract — Civil action — Attorney’s fees.

(a) If a contract between a sales representative and a principal is terminated, the principal shall, within fourteen (14) days after payment would have been due under the contract if the contract had not been terminated, pay to the sales representative all commissions accrued under the contract.

(b) A principal who in bad faith fails to comply with subsection (a) shall be liable, in a civil action brought by the sales representative, for exemplary damages in an amount no more than three (3) times the sum of the commissions owed to the sales representative.

(c) In a civil action under subsection (b), a principal against whom exemplary damages are awarded shall pay the sales representative’s reasonable attorney’s fees and court costs. However, if judgment is entered for the principal and the court determines that the action was brought on frivolous grounds, the court shall award reasonable attorney’s fees and court costs to the principal.

24-4-7-6. Doing business in Indiana.

For purposes of Indiana trial rule 4.4, a principal who contracts with a sales representative to solicit wholesale orders for a product in Indiana is doing business in Indiana.

24-4-7-7. Revocable offer of commission.

(a) If a principal makes a revocable offer of a commission to a sales representative who is not an employee of the principal, the sales representative is entitled to the commission agreed upon if:

(1) the principal revokes the offer of commission and the sales representative establishes that the revocation was for a purpose of avoiding payment of the commission;

(2) the revocation occurs after the sales representative has obtained a written order for the principal’s product because of the efforts of the sales representative; and

(3) the principal’s product that is the subject of the order is shipped to and paid for by a customer.

(b) This section may not be construed:

(1) to impair the application of IC 32-21-1 (statute of frauds);

(2) to abrogate any rule of agency law; or

(3) to unconstitutionally impair the obligations of contracts.

24-4-7-8. Waiver of statutory provision.

A provision in a contract between a sales representative and a principal that waives a provision of this chapter by:

(1) An express waiver; or

(2) A contract subject to the laws of another state; is void.

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Iowa Sales Representative

TITLE III. PUBLIC SERVICES AND REGULATION

SUBTITLE 2. EMPLOYMENT SERVICES

CHAPTER 91A. WAGE PAYMENT COLLECTION

Iowa Code § 91A.1 (2012)

 91A.1 Short title.

This chapter shall be known and may be referred to as the “Iowa Wage Payment Collection Law”.

91A.2 Definitions.

As used in this chapter:

1. “Commissioner” means the labor commissioner or a designee.

2. “Days” means calendar days.

3. “Employee” means a natural person who is employed in this state for wages by an employer. Employee also includes a commission salesperson who takes orders or performs services on behalf of a principal and who is paid on the basis of commissions but does not include persons who purchase for their own account for resale. For the purposes of this chapter, the following persons engaged in agriculture are not employees:

a. The spouse of the employer and relatives of either the employer or spouse residing on the premises of the employer.

b. A person engaged in agriculture as an owner-operator or tenant-operator and the spouse or relatives of either who reside on the premises while exchanging labor with the operator or for other mutual benefit of any and all such persons.

c. Neighboring persons engaged in agriculture who are exchanging labor or other services.

4. “Employer” means a person, as defined in chapter 4, who in this state employs for wages a natural person. An employer does not include a client, patient, customer, or other person who obtains professional services from a licensed person who provides the services on a fee service basis or as an independent contractor.

5. “Health benefit plan” means a plan or agreement provided by an employer for employees for the provision of or payment for care and treatment of sickness or injury.

6. “Liquidated damages” means the sum of five percent multiplied by the amount of any wages that were not paid or of any authorized expenses that were not reimbursed on a regular payday or on another day pursuant to section 91A.3 multiplied by the total number of days, excluding Sundays, legal holidays, and the first seven days after the regular payday on which wages were not paid or expenses were not reimbursed. However, such sum shall not exceed the amount of the unpaid wages and shall not accumulate when an employer is subject to a petition filed in bankruptcy.

7. “Wages” means compensation owed by an employer for:

a. Labor or services rendered by an employee, whether determined on a time, task, piece, commission, or other basis of calculation.

b. Vacation, holiday, sick leave, and severance payments which are due an employee under an agreement with the employer or under a policy of the employer.

c. Any payments to the employee or to a fund for the benefit of the employee, including but not limited to payments for medical, health, hospital, welfare, pension, or profit-sharing, which are due an employee under an agreement with the employer or under a policy of the employer. The assets of an employee in a fund for the benefit of the employee, whether such assets were originally paid into the fund by an employer or employee, are not wages.

d. Expenses incurred and recoverable under a health benefit plan.

91A.3 Mode of payment.

1. An employer shall pay all wages due its employees, less any lawful deductions specified in section 91A.5, at least in monthly, semimonthly, or biweekly installments on regular paydays which are at consistent intervals from each other and which are designated in advance by the employer. However, if any of these wages due its employees are determined on a commission basis, the employer may, upon agreement with the employee, pay only a credit against such wages. If such credit is paid, the employer shall, at regular intervals, pay any difference between a credit paid against wages determined on a commission basis and such wages actually earned on a commission basis. These regular intervals shall not be separated by more than twelve months. A regular payday shall not be more than twelve days, excluding Sundays and legal holidays, after the end of the period in which the wages were earned. An employer and employee may, upon written agreement which shall be maintained as a record, vary the provisions of this subsection.

2. The wages paid under subsection 1 shall be paid in United States currency or by written instrument issued by the employer and negotiable on demand at full face value for such currency, unless the employee has agreed in writing to receive a part of or all wages in kind or in other form.

3. a. The wages paid under subsection 1 shall be paid at the employee’s normal place of employment during normal employment hours or at a place and hour mutually agreed upon by the employer and employee, or the employee may elect to have the wages sent for direct deposit, on or by the regular payday of the employee, into a financial institution designated by the employee. Upon written request by the employee, wages due may be sent to the employee by mail. The employer shall maintain a copy of the request for as long as it is effective and for at least two years thereafter. An employee hired on or after July 1, 2005, may be required, as a condition of employment, to participate in direct deposit of the employee’s wages in a financial institution of the employee’s choice unless any of the following conditions exist:

(1) The costs to the employee of establishing and maintaining an account for purposes of the direct deposit would effectively reduce the employee’s wages to a level below the minimum wage provided under section 91D.1.

(2) The employee would incur fees charged to the employee’s account as a result of the direct deposit.

(3) The provisions of a collective bargaining agreement mutually agreed upon by the employer and the employee organization prohibit the employer from requiring an employee to sign up for direct deposit as a condition of hire.b. If the employer fails to pay an employee’s wages on or by the regular payday in accordance with this subsection, the employer is liable for the amount of any overdraft charge if the overdraft is created on the employee’s account because of the employer’s failure to pay the wages on or by the regular payday. The overdraft charges may be the basis for a claim under section 91A.10 and for damages under section 91A.8.

4. The wages paid under subsection 1 may be delivered to a designee of the employee who is so designated in writing or may be sent to the employee by any reasonable means requested by the employee in writing. A designee under this subsection shall not also be an assignee or buyer of wages under section 539.4 nor a garnisher of the employee under chapter 642, unless the designee complies with the provisions of section 539.4 and chapter 642.

5. If an employee is absent from the normal place of employment on the regular payday, the employer shall, upon demand of the employee made within the first seven days following the regular payday, pay the wages, less any lawful deductions specified in section 91A.5, which were due on that regular payday. However, if demand is not made within this seven-day period, the employer shall, upon demand of the employee, pay the wages which were due on a regular payday within the first seven days following the day on which demand is made.

6. Expenses by the employee which are authorized by the employer and incurred by the employee shall either be reimbursed in advance of expenditure or be reimbursed not later than thirty days after the employee’s submission of an expense claim. If the employer refuses to pay all or part of each claim, the employer shall submit to the employee a written justification of such refusal within the same time period in which expense claims are paid under this subsection.

7. If a farm labor contractor contracts with a person engaged in the production of seed or feed grains to remove unwanted or genetically deviant plants or corn tassels or to hand pollinate plants, and fails to pay all wages due the employees of the farm labor contractor, the person engaged in the production of seed or feed grains shall also be liable to the employees for wages not paid by the farm labor contractor.

91A.4 Employment suspension or termination — how wages are paid.

When the employment of an employee is suspended or terminated, the employer shall pay all wages earned, less any lawful deductions specified in section 91A.5 by the employee up to the time of the suspension or termination not later than the next regular payday for the pay period in which the wages were earned as provided in section 91A.3. However, if any of these wages are the difference between a credit paid against wages determined on a commission basis and the wages actually earned on a commission basis, the employer shall pay the difference not more than thirty days after the date of suspension or termination. If vacations are due an employee under an agreement with the employer or a policy of the employer establishing pro rata vacation accrued, the increment shall be in proportion to the fraction of the year which the employee was actually employed.

91A.5 Deductions from wages.

1. An employer shall not withhold or divert any portion of an employee’s wages unless:

a. The employer is required or permitted to do so by state or federal law or by order of a court of competent juris-diction; or

b. The employer has written authorization from the employee to so deduct for any lawful purpose accruing to the benefit of the employee.

2. The following shall not be deducted from an employee’s wages:

a. Cash shortage in a common money till, cash box, or register operated by two or more employees or by an em-ployee and an employer. However, the employer and a full-time employee who is the manager of an establishment may agree in writing signed by both parties that the employee will be responsible for a cash shortage that occurs within forty-five days prior to the most recent regular payday. Not more than one such agreement shall be in effect per establishment.

b. Losses due to acceptance by an employee on behalf of the employer of checks which are subsequently dishon-ored if the employee has been given the discretion to accept or reject such checks and the employee does not abuse the discretion given.

c. Losses due to breakage, damage to property, default of customer credit, or nonpayment for goods or services rendered so long as such losses are not attributable to the employee’s willful or intentional disregard of the employer’s interests.

d. Lost or stolen property, unless the property is equipment specifically assigned to, and receipt acknowledged in writing by, the employee from whom the deduction is made.

e. Gratuities received by an employee from customers of the employer.

f. Costs of personal protective equipment, other than items of clothing or footwear which may be used by an em-ployee during nonworking hours, needed to protect an employee from employment-related hazards, unless provided otherwise in a collective bargaining agreement.

g. Costs of more than twenty dollars for an employee’s relocation to the place of employment. This paragraph shall apply only to an employer as defined in section 91E.1.

91A.5A Holiday time off — Veterans Day.

1. An employer shall provide each employee who is a veteran, as defined in section 35.1, with holiday time off for Veterans Day, November 11, if the employee would otherwise be required to work on that day, as provided in this section.

2. An employer, in complying with this section, shall have the discretion of providing paid or unpaid time off on Veterans Day, unless providing time off would impact public health or safety or would cause the employer to experience significant economic or operational disruption.

3. a. An employee shall provide the employer with at least one month’s prior written notice of the employee’s intent to take time off for Veterans Day and shall also provide the employer with a federal certificate of release or discharge from active duty, or such similar federal document, for purposes of determining the employee’s eligibility for the benefit provided in this section.

b. The employer shall, at least ten days prior to Veterans Day, notify the employee if the employee shall be provided paid or unpaid time off on Veterans Day. If the employer determines that the employer is unable to provide time off for Veterans Day for all employees who request time off, the employer shall deny time off to the minimum number of employees needed by the employer to protect public health and safety or to maintain minimum operational capacity, as applicable.

91A.6 Notice and recordkeeping requirements.

1. An employer shall after being notified by the commissioner pursuant to subsection 2:

a. Notify its employees in writing at the time of hiring what wages and regular paydays are designated by the employer.

b. Notify, at least one pay period prior to the initiation of any changes, its employees of any changes in the arrangements specified in subsection 1 that reduce wages or alter the regular paydays. The notice shall either be in writing or posted at a place where employee notices are routinely posted.

c. Make available to its employees upon written request, a written statement enumerating employment agreements and policies with regard to vacation pay, sick leave, reimbursement for expenses, retirement benefits, severance pay, or other comparable matters with respect to wages. Notice of such availability shall be given to each employee in writing or by a notice posted at a place where employee notices are routinely posted.

d. Establish, maintain, and preserve for three calendar years the payroll records showing the hours worked, wages earned, and deductions made for each employee and any employment agreements entered into between an employer and employee.

2. The commissioner shall notify an employer to comply with subsection 1 if the employer has paid a claim for unpaid wages or nonreimbursed authorized expenses and liquidated damages under section 91A.10 or if the employer has been assessed a civil money penalty under section 91A.12. However, a court may, when rendering a judgment for wag-es or nonreimbursed authorized expenses and liquidated damages or upholding a civil money penalty assessment, order that an employer shall not be required to comply with the provisions of subsection 1 or that an employer shall be required to comply with the provisions of subsection 1 for a particular period of time.

3. Within ten working days of a request by an employee, an employer shall furnish to the employee a written, itemized statement or access to a written, itemized statement as provided in subsection 4, listing the earnings and deductions made from the wages for each pay period in which the deductions were made together with an explanation of how the wages and deductions were computed.

4. On each regular payday, the employer shall send to each employee by mail or shall provide at the employee’s normal place of employment during normal employment hours a statement showing the hours the employee worked, the wages earned by the employee, and deductions made for the employee. However, the employer need not provide information on hours worked for employees who are exempt from overtime under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, as defined in 29 C.F.R. pt. 541, unless the employer has established a policy or practice of paying to or on behalf of exempt employees overtime, a bonus, or a payment based on hours worked, whereupon the employer shall send or otherwise provide a statement to the exempt employees showing the hours the employee worked or the payments made to the employee by the employer, as applicable. An employer who provides each employee access to view an electronic statement of the employee’s earnings and provides the employee free and unrestricted access to a printer to print the employee’s statement of earnings, if the employee chooses, is in compliance with this subsection.

91A.7 Wage disputes.

If there is a dispute between an employer and employee concerning the amount of wages or expense reimbursement due, the employer shall, without condition and pursuant to section 91A.3, pay all wages conceded to be due and reimburse all expenses conceded to be due, less any lawful deductions specified in section 91A.5. Payment of wages or reimbursement of expenses under this section shall not relieve the employer of any liability for the balance of wages or expenses claimed by the employee.

91A.8 Damages recoverable by an employee.

When it has been shown that an employer has intentionally failed to pay an employee wages or reimburse expenses pursuant to section 91A.3, whether as the result of a wage dispute or otherwise, the employer shall be liable to the employee for any wages or expenses that are so intentionally failed to be paid or reimbursed, plus liquidated damages, court costs and any attorney’s fees incurred in recovering the unpaid wages and determined to have been usual and necessary. In other instances the employer shall be liable only for unpaid wages or expenses, court costs and usual and necessary attorney’s fees incurred in recovering the unpaid wages or expenses.

91A.9 General powers and duties of the commissioner.

1. The commissioner shall administer and enforce the provisions of this chapter. The commissioner may hold hearings and investigate charges of violations of this chapter.

2. The commissioner may, consistent with due process of law, enter any place of employment to inspect records concerning wages and payrolls, to question the employer and employees, and to investigate such facts, conditions, or matters as are deemed appropriate in determining whether any person has violated the provisions of this chapter. How-ever, such entry by the commissioner shall only be in response to a written complaint.

3. The commissioner may employ such qualified personnel as are necessary for the enforcement of this chapter. Such personnel shall be employed pursuant to chapter 8A, subchapter IV.

4. The commissioner shall, in consultation with the United States department of labor, develop a database of the employers in this state utilizing special certificates issued by the United States secretary of labor as authorized under 29 U.S.C. § 214, and shall maintain the database.

5. The commissioner shall promulgate, pursuant to chapter 17A, any rules necessary to carry out the provisions of this chapter.

91A.10 Settlement of claims and suits for wages — prohibition against discharge of employee.

1. Upon the written complaint of the employee involved, the commissioner may determine whether wages have not been paid and may constitute an enforceable claim. If for any reason the commissioner decides not to make such determination, the commissioner shall so notify the complaining employee within fourteen days of receipt of the complaint. The commissioner shall otherwise notify the employee of such determination within a reasonable time and if it is determined that there is an enforceable claim, the commissioner shall, with the consent of the complaining employee, take an assignment in trust for the wages and for any claim for liquidated damages without being bound by any of the technical rules respecting the validity of the assignment. However, the commissioner shall not accept any complaint for unpaid wages and liquidated damages after one year from the date the wages became due and payable.

2. The commissioner, with the assistance of the office of the attorney general if the commissioner requests such assistance, shall, unless a settlement is reached under this subsection, commence a civil action in any court of competent jurisdiction to recover for the benefit of any employee any wage, expenses, and liquidated damages’ claims that have been assigned to the commissioner for recovery. The commissioner may also request reasonable and necessary attorney fees. With the consent of the assigning employee, the commissioner may also settle a claim on behalf of the assigning employee. Proceedings under this subsection and subsection 1 that precede commencement of a civil action shall be conducted informally without any party having a right to be heard before the commissioner. The commissioner may join various assignments in one claim for the purpose of settling or litigating their claims.

3. The provisions of subsections 1 and 2 shall not be construed to prevent an employee from settling or bringing an action for damages under section 91A.8 if the employee has not assigned the claim under subsection 1.

4. Any recovery of attorney fees, in the case of actions brought under this section by the commissioner, shall be remitted by the commissioner to the treasurer of state for deposit in the general fund of the state. Also, the commissioner shall not be required to pay any filing fee or other court costs.

5. An employer shall not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against any employee because the employee has filed a complaint, assigned a claim, or brought an action under this section or has cooperated in bringing any action against an employer. Any employee may file a complaint with the commissioner alleging discharge or discrimination within thirty days after such violation occurs. Upon receipt of the complaint, the commissioner shall cause an investigation to be made to the extent deemed appropriate. If the commissioner determines from the investigation that the provisions of this subsection have been violated, the commissioner shall bring an action in the appropriate district court against such person. The district court shall have jurisdiction, for cause shown, to restrain violations of this subsection and order all appropriate relief including rehiring or reinstatement of the employee to the former position with back pay.

91A.11 Wage claims brought under reciprocity.

1. The commissioner may enter into reciprocal agreements with the labor department or corresponding agency of any other state or its representatives for the collection in such other states of claims or judgments for wages and other demands based upon claims assigned to the commissioner.

2. The commissioner may, to the extent provided for by any reciprocal agreement entered into by law or with an agency of another state as provided in this section, maintain actions in the courts of such other state to the extent permitted by the laws of that state for the collection of claims for wages, judgments and other demands and may assign such claims, judgments and demands to the labor department or agency of such other state for collection to the extent that such an assignment may be permitted or provided for by the laws of such state or by reciprocal agreement.

3. The commissioner may, upon the written consent of the labor department or other corresponding agency of any other state or its representatives, maintain actions in the courts of this state upon assigned claims for wages, judgments and demands arising in such other state in the same manner and to the same extent that such actions by the commissioner are authorized when arising in this state. However, such actions may be maintained only in cases in which such other state by law or reciprocal agreement extends a like comity to cases arising in this state.

91A.12 Civil penalties.

1. Any employer who violates the provisions of this chapter or the rules promulgated under it shall be subject to a civil money penalty of not more than five hundred dollars per pay period for each violation. The commissioner may recover such civil money penalty according to the provisions of subsections 2 to 5. Any civil money penalty recovered shall be deposited in the general fund of the state.

2. The commissioner may propose that an employer be assessed a civil money penalty by serving the employer with notice of such proposal in the same manner as an original notice is served under the rules of civil procedure. Upon service of such notice, the proposed assessment shall be treated as a contested case under chapter 17A. However, an employer must request a hearing within thirty days of being served.

3. If an employer does not request a hearing pursuant to subsection 2 or if the commissioner determines, after an appropriate hearing, that an employer is in violation of this chapter, the commissioner shall assess a civil money penalty which is consistent with the provisions of subsection 1 and which is rendered with due consideration for the penalty amount in terms of the size of the employer’s business, the gravity of the violation, the good faith of the employer, and the history of previous violations.

4. An employer may seek judicial review of any assessment rendered under subsection 3 by instituting proceedings for judicial review pursuant to chapter 17A. However, such proceedings must be instituted in the district court of the county in which the violation or one of the violations occurred and within thirty days of the day on which the employer was notified that an assessment has been rendered. Also, an employer may be required, at the discretion of the district court and upon instituting such proceedings, to deposit the amount assessed with the clerk of the district court. Any moneys so deposited shall either be returned to the employer or be forwarded to the commissioner for deposit in the general fund of the state, depending on the outcome of the judicial review, including any appeal to the supreme court.

5. After the time for seeking judicial review has expired or after all judicial review has been exhausted and the commissioner’s assessment has been upheld, the commissioner shall request the attorney general to recover the assessed penalties in a civil action.

91A.13 Travel time to worksite — when compensable.

Unless a collective bargaining agreement provides otherwise, an employee is not entitled to compensation for the time that an employee spends traveling to and from the worksite on transportation provided by the employer, when during that time, the employee performs no work, the transportation is provided by the employer as a convenience for the employee, and the employee is not required by the employer to use that means of transportation to the worksite. An employee is entitled to compensation for the time that an employee spends traveling between worksites if the travel is done during working hours.

91A.14 Former employees.

The rights and obligations outlined in this chapter continue until they are fulfilled, even though the employ-er-employee relationship has been severed.

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