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IWhat are the State Laws in regards to paying commissions…

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IWhat are the Washington State...
IWhat are the Washington State Laws in regards ***** ***** commissions when a fully commissioned sales person is leaving the company:
If the Employee booked the job and completed it...we feel the commissions should be paid in full. The question is around what if booked, and partially done and someone else has to see the job through because these types of jobs have to be managed. Would the employee be legally due some commission on those jobs? And thirdly, what if employee booked but it has not started so another employee will have to managed the entire job.Second question: The company is willing to pay EE to get a liability release signed. I need help knowing what wording should be in place for releasing Employer from any further liability from any claims of wrongdoing or unfounded accusations. Is there someone who can help with this.
Submitted: 7 months ago.Category: Employment Law
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11/30/2017
Employment Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 7 months ago
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 13,369
Experience: Licensed to practice before state and federal court
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Hello! I am a licensed attorney, admitted to practice in state and federal court. I have a nearly 100% satisfaction rating (click here for more info) so all that means is that you can count on me to help today. Because I want to provide you with the most accurate answer possible, do you mind if I take a moment to review your question?

Please keep in mind that our conversation does not include an attorney-client relationship and this is for general information purposes only.

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
That works!
Employment Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 7 months ago

Great, thank you! Bear with me a moment while I review…

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Please provide your answer on state laws for commissions first and then that will help me decide if we should go ahead and go live to discuss the release agreement. :) Thanks
Employment Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 7 months ago

Ok, so if an employer leaves a company in WA state, then their final paycheck is due, as I am sure you know. This includes any earned wages, including commissions that you would have normally earned as a result of completed sales. Thus, although the employee may not be able to complete the job entirely before leaving the company, the fact that they did the act to earn the commission means they must be paid out. Thus, the employee would legally be due the commission on those jobs.

As far as the language for a release of liability, that's not something I'd be able to do in this format because there are way too many things to consider and it would probably take several hours to sort all of those out which is a bit beyond the scope of this website. What other questions did you have for me today?

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
On commission...there are 2 parts to earning it. One is booking the job and the other is managing the job. If the employee is not available to manage the job, someone else has to do it. It is not a completed sale...until the job is done. All sales people are on full commission. If they have to finish the job of another sales person, they should be paid for their time. The biggest piece of the job is the managing of the work to ensure it is done correctly. I would think the law would address this in some way. They are in the flooring industry. Let me describe more clearly.
Scenario 1: Let's call this Employee JOE for these purposes. Joe was given a lead and met with the customer (Call ABC for these purposes). He listened to their needs, measured their space and wrote up a bid for the job. ABC liked the bid so booked the job and paid a down payment. Someone else from company orders the materials and schedules the installers. Once it is set up, Joes' job is to go meet Installer on the job on the first day to ensure they understand the specs and expectations and to ensure the right material made it to the job site (Hardwood, Tile, etc). in the right quantity. Then the Installer starts the job. Joes' job is then to check in on the job (Verbally daily) and in person several times a week until the job is complete. Then Joes' job is to meet Installer on the site to ensure everything is done right and they sign off on the job. Joe should be paid full commission.
Scenario 2: If Joe leaves the company and the job is still in progress, another sales person has to update themselves on the job and expectations (with customer) and then do the verbal and in person check-ins. All that work earns the employee their commission. So when Joe leaves...if he hasn't finished the job, the fair thing would be to split the commission somehow. How would the law address that?
Scenario 3: Joe booked job and materials are ordered but the job hasn't started yet. Another sales rep will have to do all verbal and in person meetings going forward. What would the law say the commission split should be.
Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Are you working on answering this?
Employment Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 7 months ago

Hi, I'm sorry for the delay. I'm still reviewing...

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
No problem! Thanks
Employment Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 7 months ago

Still reviewing. I'm just verifying a few things.

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Employment Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 7 months ago

Ok, I apologize for the delay. So, the law in your state generally just says that if you are an hourly employee, then you have to be compensated for all of your time. If you are a salaried employee, the same thing applies, just that you have to be paid at the regular intervals not less than twice per month generally. If you are receiving commissions, the law is going to look at the terms of your employment agreement to determine when the commission has officially been earned. So, if the written or unwritten policy of your company is that the person does not earn the commission until the job is complete, then that commission can't be earned. Otherwise, unless the company agrees to pay partial commission, they aren't entitled to it. Does that make sense?

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
thank you . Do you have a recommendation on where I can find good legal wording for a release agreement?
Employment Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 7 months ago

Good question. If you click here, you can find a mutual release form that was developed by the American Bar Association. You can convert it into a word document and use this as a template to help make sure there is no liability for each party. Did you have any other questions for me?

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
That is a release for like a car or property. I am looking for one that is more of a separation and release agreement from employment
Employment Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 7 months ago

Oh no, I understand:-). It's just a template that you can use so you have an idea of what you can use. You can cut out the parts that relate to a car. Lawyers use templates like these all of the time and just arrange the wording. This just provides a good framework to help. Does that make sense?

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
do you not have access to a more thorough template?
Employment Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 7 months ago

Unfortunately, I do not have access to a template specific to releases of liability for sales employees in the state of Washington. That is something you may need to pay a local attorney for to craft specifically for you so nothing is missed.

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Employment Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 7 months ago

I'm very sorry.

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