So you are working for a company as outside sales and you have either found a better company to work for or worse….you are being fired. What happens to the commissions you have earned (and I do mean EARNED not are hoping to get) when you leave if you typically have to wait to get paid until after the company actually receives payment for goods/services rendered?
The general rule, absent some contractual provision or handbook policy which is well disseminated and known to one and all, is that these monies are basically wages already earned and so therefore you would be entitled to same. Many employers try to rip off the sales person as they are leaving for whatever reason and not pay either the full commissions owed or any. I recently was told by an attorney when his client received one of my letters setting forth a legal claim and seeking to resolve the claim without resort to legal proceedings, that all his client would pay is $400.00 even though they knew they owed my client over $2,000.00. Why this approach was taken is beyond me, however that is what they said. My response was a very polite, NO, that is not what is going to happen. In my next communication I reminded of him of the general rule as stated above, and indicated that either we were going to settle this in a fair and equitable manner, or we would see them in court.
Result: Not sure yet, as we have not come to any agreement, but that lawyer is going back to his client and say, “oh, well, you got caught trying to rip off one of your former employees and now you have to pay and if you refuse to admit you were wrong and just pay him what he is owed, you will wind up paying me to defend you, the former employee what you owe, plus interest, and his attorney for having to sue to collect.”
Moral: do the right thing! Just like our mothers told us.
Until next time…………………………..