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Non-Payment of Wages

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  • Non-Payment of Wages

    I am an Illinois resident who is an employee of a small private company in Ohio. I am owed salary & commissions from 2005 and commission from 2006. What is the best option I have to recover these monies? Would the laws of my Illinois apply, or the laws of the State of Ohio? Are salary & commissions treated differently? Would filing a private law suit be more effective than working through Illinois agency?

  • #2
    If you were working in Illinois, you would pursue your claim there. As a matter of fact, you would be more fortunate if Illinois was your work state, as laws in Ohio are very sparse regarding this issue.

    Illinois deems earned commissions as vested wages, just like salary and, therefore, the state Dept. of Labor should take your claim for both. You should file quickly though, because there is a statute of limitations. A private attorney is also a possibility, but he/she will charge you a portion of what you receive, or at least a hefty hourly fee. The DOL is free; that's what they're there for.
    I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.


    • #3
      Would the US Deparment of Labor be of help as well?

      At one point I thought I had two years to file with IDOL, then I read something about 180 days. Do you know what date applies. By June, they will be 12 months behind on June 2005 salary.

      I am still working for the company, and they are slowly paying down the owed commissions, but I am concerned about letting this go too long. Also, they are always late on current payments by about ten days as well.

      If I keep working for them, and file this claim also, will the IDOL keep me informed so that I would know when they are going to contact them?


      • #4
        Federal law may have a longer SOL, but they will not address commissions, nor will they order unpaid wages in an amount any greater than minimum wage. That's why I recommended the state DOL. If it's 180 days, then you shouldn't have waited so long and you now would have to bring a civil case.
        I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.


        • #5
          Here's what the code says:
          Section 300.940 Filing of Claim and the Employer's Response

          a) An employee may file a complaint with the Department alleging violations of the Act by submitting a signed, completed wage claim application on the form provided by the Department and by submitting copies of all supporting documentation. Complaints shall be filed within 180 days after the wages or final compensation were due.

          b) Applications shall be reviewed by the Department to determine whether there is cause for investigation. The Department will limit its investigation to reviewing the three years prior to the date the complaint was filed.

          c) When appropriate, the Department will notify the employer of the existence of the claim.

          d) The employer must remit payment of all undisputed amounts and submit a written explanation of all the amounts remaining in dispute within 10 days after receipt.

          e) The employer's response shall include the reason(s) for non-payment and any business records and other documentation to support the employer's position.

          f) Upon receipt of an employer's response disputing the claim, the Department may, when appropriate, send a copy of the employer's response to the claimant.

          g) If the employee disagrees with the employer's response, he/she must submit a response to the Department within 10 days stating his/her reasons for the disagreement. If the employee fails to submit a written response, the Department shall dismiss the claim.

          h) If the employer fails to respond within the prescribed deadlines, the Department shall review the information offered by the employee in order to determine whether the wages are due.

          i) The Department may consider untimely submissions by either party upon written request by the party within a reasonable period of time, if there is a showing that the delay was occasioned by good cause beyond the party's control.

          Regarding i) do you think that attempts to negotiate payment would be considered good cause?
          Last edited by Wishful; 04-26-2006, 06:54 AM.


          • #6
            Good cause beyond the employer's control would be something like a hurricane or tornado where records were destroyed. There is no legitmate reason I can think of why it would take several months to determine how much commissions you are due. And there is certainly no reason why it would take several months to determine the base salary due; it's "base salary" after all.

            Good luck.
            I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.