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Withholding Comission Mass. Massachusetts

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  • Withholding Comission Mass. Massachusetts

    Basically my small family run employer made such uncomfortable working conditions for me that I had to quit. I am owed comission for items I sold that I would normally be paid comission on Dec.1 and Jan.1. Am I still owed this comission as I worked a sales job.

    Thank You

  • #2
    Massachusetts is not my state, and I have no idea on what their specific rules on commissions are. Perhaps someone else does. What I can suggest is that you will a wage claim with state DOL. It might work. It might not work. But it costs you little or nothing to file the claim.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)


    • #3
      Although I am in MA, my last experience with commission payments is almost ten years old. I can tell you what the MA law on commissions was then; I cannot guarantee that it is the same now.

      The last time I talked to the state AG's office (which essentially functions as the DOL in this state) about commission payments, the law was that any sales that you CLOSED, are due you when your employment terminates (voluntary or involuntary). Any sales that you may have initiated but that someone else closes after you leave, are not due you.

      At that time, the AG's office would interpret commission agreements with reference to MA laws and provide information about them, but would not accept a wage claim that was based in commissions. They would, at that time, suggest you file a civil suit. Again, this was almost ten years ago and I cannot say for certain that the law is still the same or that the AG's office takes the same position on claims. You would have to verify that with them.
      The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.


      • #4
        cbg's right. The law protects commissions when they are "definitely determined" and have "become due and payable." Not surprisingly, there has been quite a bit of litigation around the interpretation of those words. The upshot of these cases are that if the commission is determined - but you just haven't reached the payroll date - then it should be paid to you.

        As to whether the AG would take up the case is a different matter, but typically worth the call. They've got a very good team in that office, and the new Chief is working on a variety of new efforts to reach out to communities.
        This post is by Philip Gordon, a Massachusetts employment attorney (

        This post is NOT legal advice. It is for general/educational information purposes only. You should not rely on this post if you are making decisions, and it does not create an attorney-client relationship. This post may be considered "advertising" under the MA professional rules for attorneys.


        The forum is intended for informational use only and should not be relied upon and is not a substitute for legal advice. The information contained on are opinions and suggestions of members and is not a representation of the opinions of does not warrant or vouch for the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any postings or the qualifications of any person responding. Please consult a legal expert or seek the services of an attorney in your area for more accuracy on your specific situation.