San Jose Sales Commission Attorneys
Key issues that often arise in commission cases are 1) enforceability of a contract (or compensation plan), 2) when commissions are earned, and 3) when they are paid.
Compensation plans for sales people can often involve commissions that are earned once certain duties are performed, but paid at a different time. To avoid disputes over how much is owed to an employee at any particular time or at termination of their employment, compensation plans should be made as clear and simple as possible identifying exactly when the sales person has completed their duties to earn a commission and under what conditions the commission will be paid. If the language is ambiguous or uncertain, the agreement could be construed in favor of the employee, as it is typically the employer who drafts the compensation plan and if that happens, the employer will have caused the uncertainty or ambiguity to occur. [Please see CA Civil Code §1654]
Employees and independent contractors can usually recover for the value of the services they rendered even if the terms of an employment or independent contractor agreement are not discernible.
As with some other California Labor Code violation claims, an employee or employer can recover their attorneys’ fees for unpaid wages or salary if they prevail in their lawsuit. This makes these claims risky for employers and employees. If the employee pursues a breach of contract claim under California law, then whether attorneys’ fees are recoverable by the prevailing party under that contract is determined by the existence or non-existence of a provision to recover attorneys’ fees.
Note: Beginning on January 1, 2013, pursuant to Labor Code §2751, all commission compensation contracts must be in writing and set forth the method by which the commissions shall be computed and paid.
At Habbu & Park, we will guide you in preparing commission or compensation plans/contracts that support your interests, reduce uncertainty, and protect against litigation. If a dispute arises about the payment of commissions, we will advocate for you to obtain the best possible outcome.
Contact Our Commissions Law Attorneys Today
If you are faced with commission issues or need help with a commission plan or contract, please contact the competent and experienced counsel in the Bay Area at Habbu & Park for an informative consultation. To schedule a consultation please contact us at 408-993-9577, email us, or visit us at
95 South Market Street, Suite 530, San Jose, California 95113.