Introduction: Unpaid commissions and bonuses can be a frustrating situation for Texas employees who were promised compensation upon achieving certain goals. Fortunately, there are legal options available to pursue when employers fail to fulfill their payment obligations. This article outlines employees’ rights, potential legal claims, and the compensation they may receive if they choose to take action.
Legal Recourse for Unpaid Commissions and Bonuses: If an employer fails to pay commissions or bonuses after committing to do so, employees have several legal avenues to explore:
- Breach of Contract: Whether the commission agreement was oral or in writing, employees may be able to claim breach of contract if the employer fails to honor the agreement.
- Fraud: If an employer knowingly promised commission or bonus with no intention to pay, employees may have a valid fraud claim.
- Unjust Enrichment / Quantum Meruit / Promissory Estoppel: Even without a written agreement, employees who performed work benefiting the employer may have a claim based on unjust enrichment or other legal doctrines.
Changing Commission or Bonus Plans: While employers in Texas can typically modify commission or bonus plans at any time, they cannot retroactively alter the terms after employees have earned the compensation.
Payment upon Resignation: Whether an employer must pay commissions or bonuses upon an employee’s resignation depends on the terms of the written or oral agreement. If the agreement is silent, employees may still have a claim for unpaid compensation.
Compensation for Unpaid Commissions and Bonuses: When pursuing a legal claim, employees with a written agreement can demand not only the unpaid commissions but also interest, attorney’s fees, and costs incurred during the lawsuit
Alternatives to Lawsuit: Employees who prefer not to sue their employer have other options. Dolghih Law Group offers assistance in making demands and negotiating payments. Additionally, the firm can provide coaching to strengthen employees’ cases when agreements are unclear or unwritten.
When to Consult With an Employment Attorney: As soon as employees realize their employer won’t pay the owed commission or bonus, it’s advisable to consult with a qualified employment attorney. Early legal guidance can prevent actions that might harm the claim.
Conclusion: Unpaid commissions and bonuses can lead to challenging situations for Texas employees. Understanding their legal rights and potential recourse is crucial when employers fail to fulfill their promises. Seeking legal counsel early on can help employees navigate their options and achieve the compensation they rightfully deserve. If you believe you are owed commission or bonus payments by your employer, contact Dolghih Law Group at Leiza@dlg-legal.com or (214) 531-2403 for expert assistance.