IfI leave a position because my employer refuses to pay commissions earned, will I still qualify for unemployment compensation?

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IfI leave a position because my employer refuses to pay commissions earned, will I still qualify for unemployment compensation?

I am an hourly + commission employee. I have not been paid commission for 5 of the first 6 months of this year.

Asked on July 20, 2011 Alabama

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If you leave (quit), you need to first check with your state's labor board to determine if this would be considered similar to a lay off where you are essentially fired due to no fault of your own or if it would be considered a quitting situation. Think about your situation and see if a complaint to the labor board about this or a meeting with the personnel department may be more of a benefit. You need to review your employment documentation and highlight those portions that indicate what you earn as salary, as commission and how you earn commission and of course, when you are to be paid those commissions. This will set up your evidence to show the department of labor and even the personnel department that you are correct.

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If you have earned commisisons but have not been paid for that you have earned under the agreement with your employer, you should contact the labor department in the county where you live and make a complaint against your employer for non-payment. This course of action should start making things better for you.

If the employer retaliates against you for the complaint, go to the labor department again and make another complaint. Employer retaliation against an employee for seeking his or her legal rights is not legal.

If you quit your job because you have not been paid moneys owed, potentially you can collect unemployement compensation under a "constructive termination" claim. Before quiting, you might want to meet with someone at the unemployment compensation office about your situtation.

Good luck.

 


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