Do I have a right to my commissions earned but not yet paid from 2 months prior to my resignation?

UPDATED: May 13, 2011

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UPDATED: May 13, 2011Fact Checked

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Do I have a right to my commissions earned but not yet paid from 2 months prior to my resignation?

The company I worked for is based in OH. Their policy is to not pay commissions or expenses upon resignation unless you are employed on the date that those commissions would be paid – the last pay period of the month. Commissions are paid 2 months after the month closes, so, for instance, March commissions are paid at the end of May. My last day of employment was May 13 and the company refuses to pay my March commission and my April expenses. Do I have a legal right to this money earned and how would I go about collecting?

Asked on May 13, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, North Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Companies are allowed to set their own policies about commissions. There is nothing illegal about the policy being what you stated--that in the event of resignation, the company will not pay commissions except if the employee is employed on the normal day of payment for those commissions. Thus, IF you were aware of this policy in advance, the company can enforce it and not pay you. If you had not been made aware of the policy, though, it may the be case that it is not enforceable against you, and if this had not previously been the policy, the company may not now retroactively apply it to you. (In either of these two cases, the basis for not applying it to you is that the policy would therefore not be part of your employment "agreement" with the company.)

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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