In addition to the federal minimum wage (which is currently still set at $7.25 per hour), each state, county, and city set their own minimum wages and employers are required to pay their workers no less than the highest minimum wage for their area. This remains true no matter how the employees are paid. Whether it’s hourly, by day, by project, on commission, or a salary, every worker is entitled to receive at least minimum wage for all the time they spend working.
According to a recent class action wage and hour lawsuit against Life Time Fitness Inc. in Illinois, fitness trainers were paid on commission and allegedly misclassified as exempt from overtime. If they earned less than 1.5 times the minimum wage through their commission, the difference was paid using something the gym called a “draw,” but that amount would be deducted from a later paycheck when the trainer made more than 1.5 times the minimum wage through their commission. These draws were also allegedly applied to their manager’s paycheck.
Instead of encouraging trainers to solicit more business, most managers chose to respond to this financial penalty by cutting corners with the hours of the trainers they supervised. Managers allegedly encouraged their trainers not to clock in until they were actively serving clients and to clock out as soon as they were done servicing clients. All the other tasks trainers were required to do, such as cleaning equipment, conducting fitness tests on prospective clients, and spending time on the gym floor to solicit new business, were allegedly done without pay. Trainers who failed to comply were allegedly fired as a result. Continue reading