If an employee quits and steals work and items from the company, are they still entitled to receive payment on unfinished commissions?

UPDATED: Sep 17, 2011

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If an employee quits and steals work and items from the company, are they still entitled to receive payment on unfinished commissions?

2 of my co-worked quit and now they are asking for back pay on unfinished worked. The work we do is on commission based. They had no contracts and never finished any projects. They left everything half done for everyone else to complete. When they left they took CDs worth over $500 and items the the company was producing for clients valued over $6000. They are saying we owe the $5000.

Asked on September 17, 2011 under Business Law, Michigan


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Are you the owner of the business?  I is difficult to say since you use co-workers and "we" as if you yourselves have to come up with a solution to this.  The employment agreement here was oral and not written.  Generally speaking, there is no hard and fast rule here.  You need to speak with an attorney about what the law in your state is on the matter and he or she will pick your brain for the various factors that may be looked at here, such as the employment contract (of which you have none that is written - change that), the understanding of the parties in the absence of a written agreement, and as I said, state law.  But I really think that you should be focusing on the theft and stolen business here. You need to file the first suit.  Good luck.

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