If you leave a company in the middle of the month, can they with hold your commssions because you are no longer there?

UPDATED: Jun 8, 2011

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If you leave a company in the middle of the month, can they with hold your commssions because you are no longer there?

I work for a new construction home builder. I just put in my resignation, my last day is 2 weeks. I am on 100% commission and get paid 1/2 for my sale when the contract is signed and 1/2 when the client settles on there home. They are telling me since I leave on the 20th, that they aren’t paying me the back 1/2 because I am no longer with the company. Is this legal?

Asked on June 8, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Virginia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

It is legal, in that a company may have a commission plan which states that an employee is only paid his or her commission if he or she is still employed as of the date the commission will be paid. The thing is, 1) that must have actually been the commission plan--it can't be changed after the resignation notice to prevent payment; 2) similarly, the employee must have had notice, or at least have had a reasonable opportunity for notice, that this was the plans' terms (e.g. it was in an offer or commission letter, or employee handbook, or etc.); and 3) similarly situated employees must be treated the same--e.g. they can't pay Bob his commission when he leaves, but not Sally.

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