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North Carolina Unpaid Commission Lawyer


The United States Department of Labor defines a sales commission as “a sum of money paid to an employee upon completion of a task, usually selling a certain amount of goods or services.” Commission-based pay is typically used to incentivize employees to work harder, sell more, and, or perform better. Usually, people that are working on a commission based-pay have to be energized, ambitious, and eager for their hard work to literally pay off. However, sometimes a relationship between an employee and an employer can go awry, and the money that the employee has striven to earn can be held in the balance. In that case, you will need a qualified North Carolina Unpaid Commission Lawyer.

It is important for any commission-based paid employee to know that any changes to a current commission plan cannot be applied retroactively. That means that if an employer decides that he or she wants to change the commission plan going forward, he or she cannot apply those changes to previous sales. It is also important to note that this change in commission must be relayed to the employee in writing. So, if an employer holds a meeting with all sales-personnel and announces that they are planning on changing the commission plan for employees, they’re also required the distribute the revised commission plan in writing.

But what if you are a former employee, and you are not being paid commission that YOU EARNED prior to your resignation or termination. You are still entitled to that compensation unless your executed employee agreement or resignation agreement has a forfeiture clause. You may even be entitled to receive your hard-earned commission, even if you were terminated for good cause. If you have signed an agreement that does in fact have a forfeiture clause, you may still be entitled to a portion of the commission earned; how much money is forfeited should be described in the clause.

We recently handled a case for a Raleigh sales employee who was owed a significant amount of unpaid commissions. We settled his case after filing a lawsuit for $100,000.00.

If you need a North Carolina Unpaid Commission Lawyer, Maginnis Howard is more than happy to assist you. The NCWHA (North Carolina Wage and Hour Act, not the North Carolina Walking Horse Association) labels commissions as wages, and you may be awarded liquidated damages (double damages). A judge can also award attorneys’ fees, giving extra incentive to aggrieved employees. You will only have to pay if your case is resolved.

Should you have any questions, please feel free to give Karl Gwaltney a call at 919-526-0450, by email at or through our contact page. Working without proper compensation should not be tolerated! We look forward to hearing from you.