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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
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I am a commissioned sales person living in california. I am

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I am a commissioned sales person living in california. I am earning commissions on everything that is sold in the month of December. My company pays these commission dollars 30 days after the close of the month earned. In this case January 31st. I want to resign from my company on January 1st 2013. Is it legal in California for my employeer who is a Texas based company with license to employ in Californi to not pay these because I will not be employeed when the payment is made through normal payroll cycle at the end of January?

Hello and thank you for entrusting me to answer your question.

No, it would not be legal for an employer in this circumstance to deprive you of commissions earned merely because you will no longer be employed on the date which they are disbursed.

The only circumstance in which you may conceivably forfeit entitlement to these commissions is if other employees had to step in and complete a substantial amount of work for the sales to go through following your departure. In this case, it could be argued that the commissions were not "earned" by you, but rather by those other employees.

Courts determine whether a commission was "earned" by a particular employee by examining whether that employee was the "procuring cause" of the sale.

In Brea v. McGlashan, 3 Cal. App. 2d 454 [39 P.2d 877], the court, in determining whether a finding that the plaintiff was the procuring cause of obtaining certain advertising contracts was sustained by the evidence, said: "The word 'procure' does not necessarily imply the formal consummation of an agreement. ... In its broadest sense, the word means to prevail upon, induce or persuade a person to do something. ... The originating cause, which ultimately led to the conclusion of the transaction, is held to be the procuring cause."

Assuming that you were the procuring cause of the sales on which you now claim commissions, you would be entitled to these commissions as "wages earned" at the time those commissions would ordinarily become due and payable, even though you will no longer be an employee at that time.

Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.

If you do not require any further assistance, I would be most grateful if you would remember to provide my service a positive rating, as this is the only way I will receive credit for assisting you.

Finally, please bear in mind that none of the above constitutes legal advice nor is any attorney client relationship created between us.

Very best wishes and happy holidays to you.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.



So in my case these are all earned and signed contracts in this month of December. I plan to resign in early January so there should be no issue. I am not asking for any January, just the month i was fully employeed prior to resignation. If thsi reply of mine is what was stated above by you then i now know my legal rights. If what i replied changes anything please let me know

Your reply reiterates my explanation of the law above. Provided you are the procuring cause of the sales, you would be entitled to the commissions regardless of whether you are employed at the time payment becomes due.

Again, I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX this information helps you and I wish you the best. If I have answered your question, I would be very grateful for a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you.

Kindest regards.
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