Can I sue my employer if I wasn’t paid on time and for not giving me commission for the past 9 months?

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Can I sue my employer if I wasn’t paid on time and for not giving me commission for the past 9 months?

I am supposed to get paid on the 5th and 20th of every month; it is not the 24th and I still have not been paid and this is not the first time this has happened. Also, when I was hired i was told I would be paid hourly and make commission. I have worked there for 8 years and have never had a problem, then 8 months ago they stopped giving me and my co-workers are commission so it has been almost 9 months we havent received any. Is there anything that I can do?

Asked on August 24, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

As a practical matter, there is nothing to do about late payment, other than possibly complain to the state labor department and see if they will help; that is because the cost and time/effort of a lawsuit about being paid late would exceed what you could recover through the suit, since if you are ultimately paid, you could only recover any costs (such as overdraft or late fees) caused by the delay.

An employer may change an employee's compensation at will going forward--from the announcement or notice of the change onward. However, any commissions earned (or other pay earned) prior to receiving notice of the change must be paid. So you may be able to claim for commissions you earned, but were not paid, prior to being told you would not longer receive commissions. You would most likely have to sue to recover this money, if the employer will not voluntarily pay.


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