Employer fires at will to avoid paying BIG commisions

Can an employer promise (in writing) to pay a 10% commission on sales (expecting salesperson to sell $2 mil) , but when salesperson overachieves to the tune of 15 mil, the employer fires the salesperson to avoid paying commission?

3 answers  |  asked May 16, 2001 2:50 PM [EST]  |  applies to California

Answers (3)

Abraham Goldman
Fired to avoid commissions

This is obviously wrong. It breaches your contract. It is bad faith. It may be a wrongful termination....but the biggest point is clearly the very large unpaid commission. Were you the "procuring cause"...did you get the business on your efforts? Are you an in house salesman, or a commission rep? There are special laws protecting reps. that might apply. Also, the promise to pay may have been fraudulent when made. Are there other reps/slesment that were treated the same way?
Lots of ways to look at this, but the bottom line is that it is wrong, and they should pay you.

I have done these cases for over 23 years....represented over 150 salesmen & reps in many industries. Have a very similar case going right now.

Call or email for a free consultation and my firm resume. I am in Northern California, and take good cases anywhere

Abraham Goldman
800 945 9446

posted by Abraham Goldman  |  May 21, 2001 4:59 PM [EST]
Janet M. Koehn
termination to check commission

if your commission plan is not "qualified" (some are) & therefore subject to other rules, you cannot be divested of earned commissions. i have handled cases like yours. you need to talk to an attorney experienced in employment law. please call me for a phone interview at 805-658-0655, and identify yourself as "commissions".
janet m. koehn

posted by Janet M. Koehn  |  May 16, 2001 4:57 PM [EST]
Richard J. Vaznaugh
Good Faith

At will employment is still protected by the covenant of good faith. Depending on whether you complained about wages or not there may also be a wrongful termination claim involved. Presumably the employer will come up with another reason to justify your termination -- that may be a battleground in your case. Give me a call and we can discuss. Richard Vaznaugh 415-487-0426

posted by Richard J. Vaznaugh  |  May 16, 2001 3:41 PM [EST]

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