ZEP Inc named in employment class action for failure to pay proper wages and commissions to outside sales representatives


This is a class, collective, and representative action brought by Plaintiffs, on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated. Plaintiffs and those similarly situated are or were employed by Defendants as Employees and Outside Salespersons and were denied proper compensation as required by state and federal law.

The Class consists of every person who has worked for Defendants in California and the United States as an Outside Sales Representative within four years of the filing of this action (the “Class Period”).

During the Class Period, Defendants failed to pay wages/commissions to Plaintiffs and each member of the putative classes as required by federal and state law. Further, the Defendants have engaged in an unlawful policy and practice of taking accounts and commissions obtained by salespersons in violation of both the written contract that all salespersons signed and applicable law.

As alleged, ZEP has a history of engaging in unlawful conduct with regard to its outside salespersons. At the time these accounts were obtained, each representative was never informed that the accounts or the commissions generated from these accounts could be taken from them unilaterally by Defendants. In fact, Plaintiffs and the current and former employees they seek to represent were informed in writing that such commissions would be earned when payment was made by the customer.

The representatives were also promised in writing that any changes to any commission program could only be applied “prospectively”. In other words, any new accounts obtained after a modification to the agreement could be made, but any new commission plan would not be effective retroactively, i.e., to accounts that had been obtained prior to any modification of the plan.

According to the complaint, in direct contradiction with those written promises, beginning in approximately 2017, ZEP began unilaterally and surreptitiously taking accounts/commissions obtained by their outside salespersons. Effective April 1, 2018, ZEP placed a policy in writing in which it acknowledged that it would began taking accounts/commissions from these sales persons.