Salespeople are sometimes the victims of their own success. A familiar situation is presented where a sales person lands a big new customer for the company and the relationship he or she creates generates substantial and continuous sales for the employer. As time passes, the employer grows weary of paying the commissions. Sometimes salespeople find their commission structure unilaterally changed to deprive them of commissions on existing or contemplated sales. Even worse, salespeople sometimes find themselves terminated as a means for the employer to cut them out of earned commissions or commissions which would be earned in the future as the result of the salesperson’s efforts.
A salesperson may be entitled to commissions earned before termination even if the contract provides for the end of commissions on termination. A salesperson may also be entitled to commissions on post-termination sales where those sales are procured by the salesperson and when the employer is shown to have breached the covenant of good faith and fair dealing implied by the courts in every New Hampshire contract.
The failure to pay earned and owed commissions may also violate the New Hampshire Wage statute entitling victims to recovery of their commissions, double damages and attorney’s fees.
Mr. Staples has successfully obtained recovery of withheld commissions for both in-house salespersons as well as independent sales representatives who were terminated as a means to deprive them of commissions to which they were entitled. For example, Mr. Staples recently obtained a substantial recovery for an independent sales representative whose commissions were wrongfully withheld by a New Hampshire insurance company.