In San Antonio and greater Texas, many workers earn a hourly wage plus commission. There are lingering questions about the payment of such commissions, and such wage and hour issues can be the object of legal action through a Texas employment attorney . For example, in the case of a tax-preparation company, an employee discovered that the business paid commissions only at the end of the tax season. She thought the commissions would be paid in conjunction with the payment of her hourly wages. The question then becomes: Can the employer make the employee with this long to receive commissions ?
Under Texas state labor laws and payday requirements , commissions should be paid no later than the end of the month following the month in which they were earned. So for example, a commission earned in January must be paid by the end of February.
However, exceptions to the commission policy exist where there is a written agreement according to the Texas Workforce Commission. If the written agreement was signed by the employee and the employer prior to the start of employment, the terms of the written agreement would dictate payment terms.
Employers have wide latitude to change the terms of commission payment, but they cannot interfere with payment of earned commissions. An employee who continues working after the modification of a commission payment plan may be deemed by the courts as having accepted the new terms of payment.
Employees who have been denied or delayed commissions may have a cause of action against their employer for breach of contract and possibly fraud. Even without a written agreement, a provision of Texas law allows the recovery of commissions under the quantum meruit theory.
Employees may first have to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the Texas Workforce Commission Division of Human Rights. It is best to consult with an attorney when filing the complaint as it will set the stage for a potential Texas employment lawsuit in the future.