Commissions Due After Leaving Job

Can my employer deny me earned commissions when I leave?

Usually not.  Commissions are income, just like wages or salary, and if you have earned commissions pursuant to a commission plan, you cannot be denied them, even if you quit or are fired.

 Many companies that employ sales people, have paragraphs in their commission plans that say that you forfeit any commissions that have not been paid if you leave the company or are fired before the money comes in.  I believe these provisions to be illegal.  We have a statute in Connecticut which makes it illegal to require employees to agree to pay a portion of their earnings as a condition of employment (C.G.S. Section 31-73).  I believe that this statute would make it illegal to deny a sales person his or her commission that would otherwise be payable just because the employment relationship ended. 

If you hadn’t yet earned the commission until the money comes in, perhaps because you had an ongoing obligation to service the account, then the employer might be able to claim that you aren’t entitled to it.  If your only obligation was to close the deal and move on, then I believe you cannot be denied earned commissions when your job ends.


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