I Think My Boss is Stealing From Me

I am a new hire at a Fortune 100 tech company. It’s a sales position, and this is my first job out of college. Just days into the job I landed my first sale — a big one for a $250,000 software contract. I am about to close my second sale, this one for a $100,000 contract. I was excited until I was told that because my compensation package had not yet been signed and finalized, I would not be receiving nearly $5,000 in commission for these deals. I’m angry, and I don’t know what to do to get paid and make sure this doesn’t happen again.

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7 thoughts on “I Think My Boss is Stealing From Me

  1. This will absolutely happen to you again. It happened to me when my line manger at university secretly transferred my research consultancy funds into her account. I only found out when I went to employ a research assistant. The justification for the secret transfer was the deliberate lack of clarity of terms in the University polices (be aware of words in policies like “should” or “might” when “shall” and “will” are less malleable by the unscrupulous).

    My boss made the unilateral decision that the term “University funds” meant the same thing as “private consultancy funds held in the researcher’s account that are held/ADMINISTERED by the university on behalf of the researcher.” So she just did a simple internal transfer from one account to another.

    What happened to me was equivalent to the bank manager emptying out my bank account because my bank account was held in his bank.

    My advice is to suck it up and strive for mediocrity. The less money you make in commissions is the less money that can be stolen. Unlike love, it is not better to have made a commission and lost it, than never to have made the commission at all. Having money stolen by a boss with the full support of the finance officer is a huge personal as well as financial betrayal.

    Work on your proactive damage control. Your boss has high level skills in stealing commissions from new people. If someone is going to believed in a he said she said, it won’t be you.

    I think it is appalling that this has happened to a decent, hardworking employee. Sadly, I’m not surprised in the least.

    1. Suck it up and strive for mediocrity? Of all the ways to deal with this, that has to be the worst.

  2. Were you able to take this up the chain to a Dean or Provost level? That sort of thing would not stand at my University.

  3. Don’t forget to keep copies of your offer letter and other documentation at your home. You don’t want to have that talk with him regarding the wording of your offer letter and hand over your only copy and not get it back.

    It might not hurt either to have the conversation and then recap in an email so that you have something in writing. You can also ask for a timeline for the compensation package to be finalized by. I’m not sure how this company works, but I do know that I sort of like compensation packages (at the company I work for) to be sorted out and finalized by the employee’s first pay period. We do bi-weekly pay periods, but some companies do monthly pay periods with an advance mid-month. So I could see a company with a monthly payroll not having things together until the end of the first month. If you are beyond your first pay period(s), I would be questioning this as well.

    If you are not getting an hourly wage/salary, and are only getting paid by commission, I agree that you should hold off on finalizing that second client until you get things sorted out so that you are not working more for this company for free!

    I also agree that looking for another job might be a good idea.

  4. I would certainly refuse to do any further work until “my compensation package had…been signed and finalized.”

  5. If you work for a Fortune 100 Company, they must have an ethics officer. Go talk to them.

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