Do I have rights to unpaid sales commission?

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Do I have rights to unpaid sales commission?

My employer informed me on the 20th of last month that they were closing the company

effective immediately and that was my last day of employment. I earned approximately $1,200 in commission last month and have 2 weeks of unused vacation time. Do I have a legal right to that compensation?

Asked on June 17, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

1) In your state, an employer must pay out your unused vacation pay on termination of employement unless there was a written policy to the contrary; if there was a written policy denying post-termination vacation pay, the employer does not have to pay you.
2) If you earned the commissions, you must be paid for them.
That's the law; if not paid what you are entitled to, you could sue the employer for the money (e.g. vacation pay and commissions), such as in small claims court, acting as your own attorney ("pro se") to save on legal fees.
BUT, if the company was an LLC or corporation, you can only sue the company, not any owners or managers. And if the company is closed and either has no assets or income, or is actually dissolved, then it doesn't matter if you have a legal right to the pay: you can't get money from a company which has none, or which ceases to exist. So even though, based on what you write, you are legally entitled to compensation, you may not be able to get any.


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