Utilizing our skill, knowledge, and experience to find the best solution for you

How can I collect my unpaid commissions from my job?

On Behalf of | Mar 5, 2024 | Wage & Hour Laws |

Salespeople can often earn a great living plying their trade. But because sales jobs rely on the payment of commissions, the field of sales is subject to frequent instability from economic downturns and other factors.

That’s just one of the negative aspects of the job, but what can make a sales job no longer tenable for the salesperson is when the company withholds commissions from its sales force.

What is a commission sales job?

Some companies compensate the sales representative, in whole or in part, by commission. That means that employees may or may not have a base salary to which commissions are added as a sales percentage or number of units sold.

Some commission sales jobs have no base salary, so not getting your commissions paid can really put you into a financial bind.

Under Florida law, an employee is entitled to a commission once it has been earned, meaning that the employee has completed the work necessary to earn the commission. However, if the company has a policy providing that a commission will be forfeited if the employee is terminated prior to the commission being paid, that policy may be binding and could result in the employee not being paid a commission otherwise earned.

What is your recourse?

Presumably, you have already attempted to deal with your employer about the unpaid commissions. If so, they may have another perspective to offer about the situation. They also might be taking all the time the law allows to pay you, so make sure you have established their refusal to pay what is owed. 

Failing resolution or an acceptable negotiation between you and your employer, you have some options: First, depending upon where you live, your city or county may have a wage theft ordinance and a complaint procedure to recover unpaid wages, including commissions. Second, you can file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor. Third, you can file a lawsuit to recover the unpaid commissions. Depending on the amount owed, that lawsuit may be brought in small claims court without the need to hire an attorney. For higher amounts, you may wish to hire an attorney to assist you in bringing a claim.

Learning more about the complexities of employment laws in our state can help you present a viable case for your unpaid commissions from the Florida company that employed you.