I hope this message finds you well, present circumstances excluded. I am a licensed attorney with over a decade of employment law
experience. It is a pleasure to assist you today.
I too believe that you have a strong case against the employer under the premise or cause of action of breach of contract
and bad faith business dealings.
The only legal leg that they have to stand on - and it would be weak at that - is that they may spread out the commission in three parts over three years to better mimic the typical payout. Even that argument or defense is weak because they have the money in hand right now.
The fact that you have voiced your opinion on the matter is good because it has placed them on notice of your position. I suggest that you email the owner one last time (for legal notice purposes) and tell them that you wish to be paid the amount you are owed in full as soon as reasonably possible. Tell them that you feel this is bad faith and that it breaches your commission agreement (both historically and as agreed to) and that you were never given any notice (written or otherwise) of any change in terms of your commission relative to signing a three year deal. Tell them that you would like an answer within 5 business days as to their decision in writing.
If they do not respond affirmatively, then your only option left is to sue them for the money.
Understand that they can terminate you for suing them for the money owed. When you beat them in court, you will likely also be awarded damages for the termination
, but that award may not come for years.
This is the double edged sword of this type of litigation.
Best case scenario is that you find other employment as soon as reasonably possible and then bring the suit against the employer for what they owe you. Then, the termination issue is immaterial and you can simply litigate for what is legally yours.
Let me know if you have any other questions or comments.
Please rate my answer positively as well.
Best wishes going forward!