If I work on a salary plus commission that is paid on a quarterly basis and I quit my job before the end of the next quarter, am I still entitled to my earned commission?

My contract is not very official, but does not say anything about me only receiving my commission if I am still with the company.

Asked on January 28, 2013 under Employment Labor Law, Washington


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

There is no general law on this subject; it  is subject to the terms of the agreement pursuant to which you worked. If there is nothing explicit in the agreement on this subject, you can look to past precedent--that is, what has your company done in previous similar cases? If there is no past precedent, then look to the general practice in your industry. That practice most likely is that you should be paid for commissions earned prior to your resignation, subject to a reserve or charge back for bad debts, returns, and the like--that is the most common practice for the payment of commissions, at least in those industries with which I am familiar. When there is nothing else to go by, courts will interpret the terms pursuant to which you worked by recourse to industry practice/norms and the typical or reasonable understanding of such agreements and compensation plans.

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

If the contract is silent, you are entitled to your commission. Make sure you get it though because if you leave and do not get it, you will be in an uphill battle probably with the labor department and the ex-employer to get these monies.

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