i am owed commissions ona deal that i closed at my job. I worked with my previous employer and he terminated me a week after and hasnt paid me my commission.

My company pc capital was working with another parent company capback and received commission payments for services rendered. The deal close on may 6, and my parent company terminated me on May 15, 2016 without paying me my commission. Which was over 14,000. I had partnered up with another broker to close this deal and he is entitled to a portion of these proceeds as well. The owner as well proceeded to falsely use my email and phone to defame my name. He acted as if he was myself, and sent derogatory emails out on my behalf. I just want to get the money I had earned on the two deals that I close this month. Can you provided an advise on how to get my commissions.

Asked on May 20, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You can sue  the employer. Legally, if you performed services according to an agreement to be paid an X% commission, they have to honor that, even if you were then fired: if they don't, that is breach of contract and you may sue them for it.
Practically, if you don't have a copy of the written contract, you might have some difficulty proving the commission rate or that you received a commission at all, but you can get around that by showing past deals and payments. For example, say you previously worked on and were commissioned for another similar deal. If you can show the size of the deal and the payment or commission you received, that can help prove the terms of your commission plan. You can also use evidence relating to other brokers who paid on this or similar deals. You can use witness, including your own, testimony. You can use emails and text messages, if any mention the commission. Etc. There are many potential ways to show the terms of the commission and you should have received one.
Also, since for this amount, you will be suing *not* in small claims court, you will be able to use "discovery" to get information from the company: e.g. you can request copies of documents, copies of checks, communications with employees or the parent company, etc.
You have the right to sue on your own, as your lawyer or "pro se," to save on legal fees. But strongly consider a lawyer: a lawyer will greatly increase your chance of winning. See if you can find a lawyer who will work on a contingency basis, or for a share what you get (e.g. 25 - 33%). Yes, that will reduce the maximum you could get, but getting, say, 2/3 of  $14,000 is better than getting nothing, and a lawyer will increase the odds of getting something.

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