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Can my employer withhold my commissions?

On Behalf of | Oct 5, 2023 | Employment Law

Sales commissions serve as an incentive for sales professionals, motivating them to achieve higher sales targets.

When an employer fails to honor their commitment to pay these commissions, it can lead to disputes and financial hardships for employees. Understanding the legal framework and the recourse available to employees is important.

The importance of contractual agreements

Colorado law stipulates that employers must pay sales commissions as agreed upon in the employment contract or company policies. The employer cannot unilaterally change the terms of the commission agreement without the employee’s consent. If the employer violates these terms, the employee has legal options to seek compensation.

Documenting the commission agreement

First, it is important for the employee to document the terms of their commission agreement. This includes written contracts, emails or any communication that establishes the agreed-upon commission structure. Such documentation serves as strong evidence in case of a dispute.

Filing a wage claim

If an employer withholds sales commissions in violation of the agreement, the employee can file a wage claim with the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. The CDLE will investigate the matter. If a substantiated claim, the employer may need to pay the withheld commissions along with any applicable penalties.

Legal action through courts

Employees can consider pursuing legal action through the courts. Furthermore, Colorado law allows employees to seek damages beyond the withheld commissions. This includes interest on unpaid commissions and potential punitive damages if the employer’s actions were willful or in bad faith.

In the U.S. more than 2 million employees rely on commissions as part of their wages. If faced with not receiving your hard-earned commission, you may have a viable case to seek compensation.