Oracle America Inc. has to cope with a California Labor law class action lawsuit. It was filed in California federal court. In general, the allegation is that the company failed to provide its sales force with the right amount of commissions of past sales.
Former Oracle sales representative Marcella Johnson filed the class action. According to the lawsuit, Oracle has notified her that due to the “re-planned” payment strategy, she would have a negative commission balance of $20,000. Note that she was paid in 2013. Johnson states that she had already got a payment of commissions in November and December 2013 under a previous “comp plan.” But currently, she says that the company has applied the new method for calculating commissions retroactively. As a result, it refers to her work done in June 2013.
This being just the beginning of it all, the company’s Compensation Department has sent Johnson a notification. According to it, if she stopped working for Oracle, it would have the right to gather the negative balance from her. They have even threatened her with a lawsuit. And because she was not able to repay the company, she decided she had no choice but to continue working there. As a result, the claim states, the plaintiff has been working for months without getting any commissions. And the new commissions she got were taken by Oracle to offset the so-called negative commission balance that she had.
According to Johnson, Oracle only gives its employees 24 hours to decide whether they accept the re-plans or not. As a result, these people appear under pressure to make quick decisions that might not even benefit them. In addition, the suit states that even if a worker refuses to agree to the re-plan, the company still goes ahead and applies its terms to both past and future sales.
So, what should be done?
Thus, the Labor Law class action lawsuit alleges that Oracle has been withholding millions of dollars that it actually had to pay as commissions. Accordingly, the lawsuit claims that the company has conducted the following wrongdoings:
- Breach of California labor code and contract
- Failure to pay wages upon separation
- Failure to pay commission wages
- Unfair competition
Johnson is seeking an award of damages which is about $150 million and other legal fees and costs. And of course, she is seeking certification of her claims as a class action lawsuit, statutory penalties and more.
David Sanford, Xinying Valerian and Felicia Medina of Sanford Heisler LLP and Eric C. Kastner and Daniel H. Qualls of Katner Kim LLP represent the plaintiff.