If you work in a sales position, it is likely you are paid on commission. These payments, defined as money owed an employee based on transactions executed for an employer, are a vital part of many people’s income. However, there can sometimes be disputes between employees and employers regarding unpaid commissions. Since there can be many variances within the law on this subject, never assume you can resolve this dispute on your own. Instead, consult with a Los Angeles employment lawyer at Mann Elias.
The Importance of Written Contracts
Although oral contracts can sometimes be enforced, it is far better if you have a written agreement with your employer regarding the payment of commissions. For example, some commissions are called bonuses, and are paid out at the end of a specific period of time. In other situations, commissions are added to a paycheck at regular intervals, such as every two weeks or monthly. If you are having trouble enforcing an agreement with your employer, speak with a commission dispute attorney at once.
In some disputes involving unpaid commissions, employers will argue they have a wide area of discretion in this matter. While true to some extent, there are limitations. For instance, while employers may be able to modify terms of the commission payment agreement, they cannot interfere with a commission that has already been earned. If a dispute arises, you may be able to recover damages if you can prove you not only already earned the commission, but also if your commission dispute lawyers from Mann Elias can show a documented history of you receiving these payments once certain transactions were completed.
Suing for Breach of Contract
If you have tried to resolve an unpaid commission dispute with your employer to no avail, you always have the option of suing for breach of contract or fraud. If you go this route, the good news is that there will not have to be evidence of a written agreement between you and your employer, although it will help if one is in place. Instead, your commission dispute attorney will rely on the theory of promissory estoppel, which states you were not only promised a commission, but also that your employer knew you relied on this promise of being paid.