If I quit from my job and my former employer verbally told me that he would still pay my commissions after I left but he now says that he won’t, what can I do?

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If I quit from my job and my former employer verbally told me that he would still pay my commissions after I left but he now says that he won’t, what can I do?

I worked for a restoration company for 3 months. Within that time, I averaged 6-7 sales a week and finished around 25 deals a month. The owner later on took me off salary with a verbal warning since I wasn’t hitting my 2 a week quota after some hardships. He still owes me on all those commissions, however I no longer work there due to being completely off salary yet working over 70 hours for free, so I had to make the decision to no longer work for him and get a steady paycheck. Now, the owner refuses to pay me after my having waited. Can he get away from not paying my commission?

Asked on November 29, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, he can't legally keep your commissions: doing so is a breach of contract, or violation of the agreement (even if only an oral or verbal one--"oral" is the proper term, by the way) pursuant to which you worked and made the sales. You fulfilled your obligation and made the sales; now he must fulfill his obligations and pay you. If he does not, you can sue him for the money for breach of contract. If the amount is equal to or less than the limit for small claims court, suing in small claims as your own attorney ("pro se") is a very cost-effective option.


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