Thank you for your question.
They still have to pay you your final commission according to Section 61.04 of the Texas Payday law. As noted on the Texas Workforce Commission website
If an employee is laid off, discharged, fired, or otherwise involuntarily separated from employment, the final pay is due within six (6) calendar days of discharge. If the employee quits, retires, resigns, or otherwise leaves employment voluntarily, the final pay is due on the next regularly-scheduled payday following the effective date of resignation.
It is further noted that Regular wages
are due no later than the regularly-scheduled payday for an employee who resigned, and by the sixth calendar day for an employee who was laid off or discharged. The deadline for payouts of fringe benefits and other components of the pay, such as commissions and bonuses
, is the same, unless a different payout schedule is provided in the wage agreement or policy relating to that particular component of the pay. In that case, the payment schedule outlined in the agreement or policy will determine the deadline for payment. In other words, if there was a policy that said commissions are paid once a month, for example, they could technically wait until the regular date of payment to give you that portion of your benefits.
As you describe it, however, it seems like the employer is trying to lump you waiving your rights to bring a possible lawsuit with your getting severance pay
They cannot withhold your commission by state law, but there is no entitled to severance pay under state or federal law -that is a matter of contract or employer policy. If you had a contract that guaranteed you severance pay, for example, or your employer routinely pays severance to employees, then an argument exists that you should receive it.
I would defintely not sign anything until you have an employment lawyer look over the agreement and give you their opinion. While Texas is an "at will
" employment state, meaning absent an employment contract
or collective bargaining agreement, which may
have given you more rights, an employee may be terminated at any time, for any reason, or no reason at all (they don't have to be given an explanation) so long as it is not done for unlawful purposes. Thus, for example, if you were terminated due to your race, religion, age, sex, disability or national origin, that may be grounds for a wrongful termination