Steinhebel v. Los Angeles Times Communications, 126 Cal. App. 4th 696 (2005)

Kurt Steinhebel and other telesales employees of the Los Angeles Times sold newspaper subscriptions and received commissions for those sales. Under the Telesales Agreement, a “chargedback order (when a customer does not keep the paper for at least 28 days)” was not a commissionable order. The employees received commission advances against which cancelled subscriptions were subsequently deducted. The employees sued the Times for various violations of the California Labor Code and Business & Professions Code § 17200. The Court of Appeal affirmed summary judgment in favor of the Times after determining that the chargeback of advanced commissions did not violate Labor Code § 221 (collection or receipt of wages previously paid), § 203 (waiting time penalties) or Business & Professions Code § 17200.