Employer refusing to pay sales commissions

Hello,

I worked as a commission only sales rep for a
general contractor in Indiana. We did not have
an employment contract, nor was there any
employee handbook / rule book. I worked for 2
seasons. After not returning for the third
season due to a divorce, the company is
refusing to pay my commissions on the last
three projects. The work had been completed
but the final payments were still being
processed due to insurance process.

The business owner knows that I am in a bad
spot financially and is refusing to pay anything.
Thank you in advance for any advice.

Asked on July 19, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Indiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

What you can do is sue the ex-employer. If you made the sales, you were owed the agreed-upon commissions; if they were not paid, you sue them for "breach of contract," or violating the agreement--even if it was an oral or unwritten agreement--under which you did the work and made the sales.
(Oral contracts can be proven by credible testimony and also by evidence of performance: e.g. evidence of what you had in fact been paid as commissions for sales is evidence of the existence of a commission agreement and the commission rate you received.)
If the amount at stake is equal to or less than the limit for small claims court, suing in small claims, as your own attorney or "pro se" to save on legal fees, is a good option.


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