In California, what is the difference between a “Commission” and a “Bonus?”
In California, a commission and a bonus are two different types of compensation that employers may use to incentivize and reward their employees, and they have different legal implications.
A commission is a form of compensation that is based on a percentage of the sales or revenue that an employee generates. For example, a salesperson might receive a commission equal to 5% of the value of the sales they make. Commissions are typically calculated on a per-sale basis and can be earned in addition to a base salary or hourly wage. In California, commissions are governed by specific state laws that require employers to provide written agreements outlining the terms of the commission, including the formula or method for calculating the commission and the timing and frequency of payments.
A bonus, on the other hand, is a form of compensation that is typically given to employees as a lump-sum payment, either as a reward for good performance, as an incentive to achieve certain goals, or as a share of the profits earned by the company. Unlike commissions, bonuses are not tied to specific sales or revenue targets and can be awarded at the employer’s discretion. In California, employers are not required by law to provide bonuses, but if they do, they must ensure that the bonuses are paid in accordance with the terms of any agreement or policy that governs the bonus program.
Overall, the key difference between a commission and a bonus is that commissions are earned as a result of specific sales or revenue generated by the employee, while bonuses are typically awarded as a result of overall performance or other factors decided by the employer.