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  1. #1
    Veteran Member bdog's Avatar
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    Mar 2004
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    1,333
    Location
    Texas
    Tractor
    John Deere 4440

    Default What is fair?

    I work at a company where the majority of my pay is commision. I am not really in sales, I just am paid on a per job basis. Our company is small and I run a crew and we do about 5-10 jobs a year that range from 1 week to 1 month on average.

    Anyway the deal I have with the company is once I do the job, and the client pays us I get paid my commision. Well we did a job back in 2002 where I did everything I am supposed to and the client did not pay. It is not because we did anything wrong or anything like that, he just did not pay. Well I have sent the client all kinds of late notices, called him, etc, and in late 2003 my boss said he would handle it and I assumed he was going to persue legal action. Well nothing has been done, the client has not paid and I have received zero dollars for about a weeks worth of work.

    I really like my job, and my boss is a really great guy and friend but this has been eating on me. He says they have not paid him, so I do not get paid, and I kinda see his point, but at the same time I don't really think it is fair that as an employee I should have to bear this burden. I understand that as a small company our cash flow is small and I don't mind waiting the 30 or 60 days it takes most clients to pay but should I just get the shaft if they never pay? I mean I have done all I can, and he said he would handle it so there is nothing further I can do to collect the money.

    Should I just forget about it, or do you think I should be paid regardless? It is not a huge amount of money I am talking about here, it is mainly the principle of it that is bothering me. Now everytime I do a job it is always in the back of mind "are they going to pay?"

    I am wanting to sit down with my boss and tlak about this but I wanted to get some input on if I was being reasonable or not first.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    7,386
    Location
    North East CT
    Tractor
    2003 Kubota BX-22

    Default Re: What is fair?

    The way the arrangement goes according to what you have said, is ..... when your employer gets paid, you get paid. Under those terms, if the employer gets stuck for the job, then so do you.
    If you had been a commissioned sales person and once the sale is completed, you would be entitled to the commission even it the company didn't get paid. The reason for this is that you had completed your part of the job of selling.
    I assume that since your employer has other employees that worked on this job that the employer didn't get paid for, that the employer is also out the wages of these other people. I would talk to your employer/friend, and suggest that he allow you to give the debt over for collection and that you both will split the amount collected after the collection fees. I wouldn't let this get the best of you, but I know how these small matters can leave you with a knot in your stomach. You will just have to learn that sometimes life isn't fair, but life goes on. The people that don't learn these lessons, are the ones that have all sorts of health problems, because they are the "worry warts" of society. With age comes wisdom... just don't grow old worrying about when you will gain the wisdom to know when to stop worrying.... Junk.. teaching philosophy 101.... [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

  3. #3
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    212
    Location
    Tennessee
    Tractor
    Ford 8n/ Kioti DK45S

    Default Re: What is fair?

    Actually....many comissioned sales/service positions include as part of the compensation arraingement a thing called a charge back. That is where the sales/service person gets paid by the company before the funds are recieved from the customer/client. Ends up the customer/client doesn't pay, for what ever reason, and the company comes back to the employee for thier money.

    Are you concerned that your boss/friend has actually gotten money and witheld your portion?

    Junks idea of splitting the collection agency returns may be about your only recourse at this point. As it happened so long ago, it seems to be in your best interest to move beyond it. Somehow I think that even if you were to get the money you won't ever forget the experience.

    Appears that you and the company BOTH got stuck with a loser customer. It's also apparent that you have encountered some very good customers or you would have moved on a long time ago. Chalk it up, toss it out and keep on paddleing your your boat. My guess is that, as unpleasent as the experience was you are smarter for it and try to read your customers better.

    Now get up and go out there and kick some butt....... [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    182
    Location
    S.E. Michigan
    Tractor
    Kubota L3400

    Default Re: What is fair?

    If the customer hasn't paid you after 3 years, what makes you think he's going to respond to a collection agency? Stop pussyfootin' around and take this deadbeat to court. You can also sue for lawyer fees and lost interest on the money owed. You may also be able to secure a lein against any ownings that the deadbeat holds that are connected to the work that was done. Talk to a lawyer about this, find one that will give you a free initial consultation, and then sick 'em on this guy. Sometimes a letter from a law office threatening a lawsuit and leins are enough to loosen a deadbeats pocketbook.

    ...Tony

  5. #5
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Posts
    1,121
    Location
    Thurmont, Maryland
    Tractor
    TC35D w/ SS

    Default Re: What is fair?

    "Should I just forget about it"

    File a lean on the clients property, house.. if it's attempted to be sold.. the lean will come up on the title search.

  6. #6
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    1,436
    Location
    Byron New York
    Tractor
    2004 BX2230

    Default Re: What is fair?

    Has the owner taken this as a loss on his company bottom line already? If he has then your commission should also be a loss if he gives it to you. I guess my question to you is what DID happen on this job in regards to where it stands.

  7. #7
    Super Member Farmwithjunk's Avatar
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    Aug 2005
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    7,514
    Location
    Mt Washington, Kentucky
    Tractor
    Where do I begin.....

    Default Re: What is fair?

    I'm certainly no lawyer, but I did try to file a lien on someone a few years back. Here's what I found out.

    In Kentucky, you must notify a potential non-payer BEFORE you do work for them that you will attemt to file a lien upon their refusal to pay. You cannot file a lien on that persons primary residence or any home in which they live PRIOR to begining work. Also, a lien can be on materials used, or labor paid out to your employees, but your own labor, as well as "potential profits" cannot be used in the lien amount.

    That was almost 20 years ago, but I think things are still the same in this state.

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