What to do if I was declined a commission check by former employer sinceI didn’t give notice?

UPDATED: Jan 18, 2011

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What to do if I was declined a commission check by former employer sinceI didn’t give notice?

I was on salary with commission pay structure. I got commission every month. I separated myself from my employer in 12/10. When I asked about my commission check for November they said since I didn’t give 2 weeks notice they scratched my commission off the books. They also took a percentage of my earlier checks and called it a “Christmas fund”. They also said that I wouldn’t get that aa well. Since that was earned income, shouldn’t I be entitled to it? Can they just write it off like it never happened?

Asked on January 18, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Illinois


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

IF there was an agreement between you and your former employer that if you left without providing a certain amount of notice, they could, in that case, reduce your commission or charge you certain amounts, then that agreement would, in most cases, be legal and enforceable. However, in the absence of an agreement--whether an explicit one, such as in an employment contract or an offer letter, or potentially an implicit one to that effect, such as might be found in an employee handbook--the company cannnot unilaterally or retroactively reduce your commission or charge you back any funds. Instead, you need to be paid all compensation which you have earned under the terms of your employment.

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