If you work on commission, then your pay can be difficult to calculate. Yet, getting the math right is pivotal to ensuring that you receive the compensation to which you’re entitled. But time and again employers engage in unethical and even illegal practices that take money from employees’ pockets and places it into their own. While this isn’t fair and should be stopped, the onus is almost always on the wronged employee to take the action that is necessary to find accountability.
Where to start?
When dealing with unpaid commissions, it can be hard to even know where to start. In many instances, it’s best to turn to your employment agreement. The terms of this contract should specify how your commissions are to be calculated and paid. If you don’t have an employment agreement, then turn to the communications that you’ve had with your employer. In many instances, statements are made by employers that can be considered legally binding, so make sure that you’re keeping emails and voicemails from your employer. After all, Michigan law requires the payment of commission to follow contractual arrangements. When no contract exists, then the prior practices of the parties prevail.
What can you recover?
In addition to recovering the compensation that is owed to you, you may be able to recover additional damages. In fact, Michigan law allows for the recovery of twice the amount of unpaid compensation, so long as that number doesn’t exceed $100,000. If you succeed on your case, then you can also recover attorney fees. In other words, you have a lot to lose and a lot to gain by taking legal action.
Do what’s necessary to protect your interests
Don’t let your employer take advantage of you. Instead, put in the work that’s necessary to protect your financial interests. After all, you put in the work to earn your commission, so it’s only fair that your employer pays you what is owed. If you need more information about how the law applies to your set of circumstances, then we encourage you to continue to conduct research into the matter.