Length of time to request overpaid commissions

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Length of time to request overpaid commissions

After 2.5 years of leaving a company where I was paid on a commission basis, they
are now requesting that I repay overpaid commissions. Nothing was mentioned or
requested when I gave notice or when my time there ended.

What is the length of time that a company can come back and ask for overpaid
commissions? It just seems odd to wait so long to request.

Asked on October 1, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Minnesota


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

They have up to four years to do this. Or, more accurately: they could always "ask" at any time, even decades later--anyone can ask for anything any time they want. But they typically only have four years to take legal action (i.e. sue for the money) if you don't pay; after four years, they have no way whatsoever to back-up or enforce their request. The reason they typically have four years is that in most cases, there is not a firm written contract for the commissions, only an oral agreement; in those circumstances, the lawsuit would have to be brought within the "statute of limitations," or time to file a lawsuit, for an oral contractual dispute, which is four years in your state (MN). Note that if you did have a written commission agreement, they would get two extra years (six years total), since the statute of limitations for written contracts is six years.

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