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Los Angeles Commission Pay Lawyer

Whether you’re in sales, real estate, marketing, or another field, earning commissions is a critical part of your livelihood. Unfortunately, disputes over unpaid commissions are not uncommon. Employers may withhold earned commissions, delay payment, or dispute the terms under which commissions were to be paid. If you find yourself in this situation, a Los Angeles Commission Pay Lawyer can help you recover what you are rightfully owed.

What is a Commission?

A commission is a form of compensation typically paid to employees or contractors based on their performance, usually tied to sales or other measurable results. Unlike a fixed salary or hourly wage, commissions are variable and are often used as an incentive to drive productivity and achievement of specific goals. Here’s a more detailed look at what commissions entail:

Types of Commissions

  • Straight Commission: An employee or contractor earns only commissions without any base salary. Their entire income is based on the amount they sell or the business they generate.
  • Base Salary Plus Commission: In this structure, an employee receives a fixed base salary in addition to commissions. This provides some financial stability while also incentivizing high performance.
  • Draw Against Commission: Employees receive a predetermined amount that is later deducted from the commissions they earn. This “draw” acts as an advance on future commissions.
  • Residual Commission: These commissions are earned over time, based on repeat business or ongoing client relationships. For instance, insurance agents might earn residuals as long as clients continue to renew their policies.
  • Territory Volume Commission: Commissions based on the total sales within a specific geographic area or sales territory, often used in large organizations with multiple sales teams.

Common Issues in Commission Disputes

Commission disputes can arise from a variety of issues, including:

Ambiguous Contract Terms

Vague or poorly defined commission structures can lead to disagreements over how much is owed.

Discrepancies in Calculations

Disputes frequently arise when employees believe they are not receiving the correct commission amounts. This can happen due to errors in sales records, misinterpretations of commission structures, or intentional underreporting by employers.

Performance Metrics

Disputes over whether sales targets or performance metrics were met can result in unpaid commissions.

Timing of Payments

Employers may delay commission payments, causing financial strain for employees.

Changes in Commission Structure

Employers may unilaterally change commission structures without proper notice or consent, affecting your earnings.

Unpaid Commissions upon Termination

Employees who leave or are terminated may find that their commissions are withheld. Employers might argue that commissions are not payable after termination, even if the sales were completed before the employee’s departure.

Under California law, employees are entitled to receive all earned wages, including commissions, even after termination. 

Getting Earned Commission Payments

If you believe you are owed unpaid commissions, it is crucial to take the proper steps to recover the compensation you deserve. Here’s a detailed guide to help you navigate the process:

Review Your Commission Agreement

Carefully review the written commission agreement or contract to verify whether your employer has adhered to the terms. Look for discrepancies between what was agreed upon and what has been paid.

Document Your Earnings

Collect all relevant documents such as sales records, emails, contracts, and payment statements that show the commissions you have earned but not received. Maintain a detailed log of your sales and the corresponding commissions you believe you are owed. This will be useful in supporting your claim.

Communicate with Your Employer

Schedule a meeting with your employer or HR department to discuss the unpaid commissions. Be professional and present your evidence clearly. If the issue is not resolved in the meeting, follow up with a formal written request outlining your claim for unpaid commissions. Include copies of your supporting documentation.

File a Complaint with the Labor Commissioner

File a wage claim with the Labor Commissioner or Department of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE). This is a formal process to resolve disputes over unpaid wages, including commissions.

Seek Legal Assistance

Consult a Los Angeles Commission Pay Lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney can provide legal advice specific to your situation and help you navigate the claims process. Additionally, they can help you determine if filing a lawsuit is the best course of action. They will handle the legal proceedings, negotiate on your behalf, and represent you in court if necessary.

How Can an Attorney Help?

Recovering unpaid commissions can be a complex and challenging process, but hiring an experienced Los Angeles Commission Pay Lawyer can significantly improve your chances of success in the following ways:

Knowledge and Guidance 

An attorney will have a deep understanding of labor laws, including those specific to commissions and wage payments. They can explain your rights and the legal standards that apply to your situation, review your employment contract, commission agreement, and any relevant company policies to determine the exact terms of your commission structure and your employer’s obligations.

Evidence Collection and Documentation

A lawyer will help you gather and organize evidence such as sales records, emails, contracts, and payment statements to build a strong case, and assist in identifying and documenting any discrepancies between what you were promised and what you received. 


Your attorney will communicate with your employer on your behalf, and negotiate to reach a settlement without the need for litigation, saving time and resources.

Filing a Complaint

Your lawyer can help you file a wage claim with the Labor Commissioner’s Office, ensuring all paperwork is properly completed and submitted. If necessary, they can draft and file a lawsuit in the appropriate court, ensuring all procedural requirements are met. 

Representation in Legal Proceedings

If your case goes to court, your lawyer will represent you and fight for your rights. If you face retaliation from your employer for pursuing your unpaid commissions, your lawyer can take immediate action to seek additional damages for any retaliatory actions. 

Contact Us Today

If you are facing a dispute over unpaid commissions, don’t wait to seek legal help. Contact an experienced Los Angeles employment lawyer today for a free consultation. We will review your case, explain your legal options, and help you take the necessary steps to recover your wages. Let us fight for your rights and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.