Employers will sometimes use sales commissions as an incentive to increase worker productivity or to create productive competition within a sales force. A commission may be paid in addition to a salary or instead of a salary. Once you leave an employer, are you able to collect the commissions owed that you earned during the time you were employed, or are they forfeited?
In Missouri, “any principal who fails to timely pay the sales representative commissions earned by such sales representative shall be liable…in a civil action…” This means that a former employee can sue their former employer if it fails to timely pay commissions owed. While the term “commission” is defined in the Missouri statute, the term “timely” is not. The terms dictating the time in which an employer must pay commissions earned may be set forth in an employment agreement. Many jurisdictions will even give deference to past employer practices when determining when commissions are "earned" by an employee and must be "paid" by an employer.
In addition to actual damages, a former employee in Missouri can sue for additional amounts such as reasonable attorney’s fees and an amount as if the person were still earning commissions calculated on an annualized pro rata basis from the date of termination of employment to the date of payment.
Our firm has represented individuals and companies in matters related to commissions demands.
We understand that there are many factors to consider when deciding to pursue litigation for any matter. If you believe you are owed commissions from a former employer or if you are an employer being falsely accused of owing back commissions, contact our firm to discuss your legal options.