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Unpaid commissions: What are your rights and remedies

On Behalf of | Oct 27, 2023 | Employment Law

Unpaid commissions can be a frustrating and challenging issue, especially if you have put in the hard work to earn them. Whether you are a sales professional, a corporate executive or a high-earning individual, if you find yourself in this situation, it is essential to understand your rights and the steps you can take to remedy the situation.

Why are commissions withheld?

Commissions can be withheld for various reasons, and understanding these factors is crucial in addressing the issue effectively. Some common reasons include:

  • Disputes over sales credits
  • Disputes with clients
  • Changes in employment or commission agreements
  • Financial difficulties within the company

There may be times when this can also happen due to unethical practices by employers. Identifying the specific cause behind the commission withholding is important to determine the most appropriate course of action to remedy the situation.

Know your rights

Understanding your rights is the first step in addressing unpaid commissions effectively.

  • Commission agreement: Your commission agreement is your contract with your employer, specifying how you earn and calculate your and when they should be paid.
  • Work done, pay due: If you have met the terms set in your agreement, you are entitled to your commissions, regardless of whether the client paid your employer.
  • Timely payment: In Florida, commissions must be paid promptly, either according to the agreed-upon schedule or industry norms.
  • Protection from retaliation: Asserting your rights should not result in retaliation from your employer.

Your commission agreement serves as your legal framework, entitling you to the earnings you have rightfully accrued. Your rights are your protection. The law upholds them, so you should have no fear of consequences.

Remedies for unpaid commissions

Knowing your rights is crucial, but it is equally important to be aware of the remedies available to you.

  • Open communication: Begin by talking to your employer about the matter. Often, open and respectful discussions can help clear up any misunderstandings.
  • Keep records: Make sure to keep thorough records of your sales, contracts and any communication related to commissions. This documentation can be essential if you take the issue to a higher level.
  • Legal action: If your employer continues to withhold your commissions unlawfully, you have the option to take legal action, which may involve filing a complaint or pursuing a lawsuit.

If a court rules in your favor, you can recover the unpaid commissions along with any additional damages as allowed by law.

Unpaid commissions can significantly impact your financial well-being. By understanding your rights and the available remedies, you can take informed steps to secure the commissions you have rightfully earned. Do not hesitate to act when faced with this issue.