The Business Trial Group commonly represents clients with claims for unpaid compensation or commissions. Claims for compensation and unpaid commissions can be brought by employees, independent contractors, or any individual or entity with a contract to receive compensation or a commission in exchange for services.
Although these types of claims can happen in a variety of industries, three common victims of unpaid commissions or unpaid compensation are real estate brokers, recruiters, and sales representatives.
Real Estate Broker Commissions
Under Florida law, if you are a real estate broker, and you are the procuring cause of a sale, then you are entitled to a commission. “Procuring cause” means you are the party that is responsible for successfully securing the sale.
To earn a commission as a procuring cause, a broker must perform two tasks:
First, the broker must initiate negotiations by doing some affirmative act to bring buyer and seller together. The broker must simply find a buyer or seller and initiate negotiations between them.
Second, the broker must stay involved in the continuous negotiations between the seller and buyer, unless the seller and buyer intentionally exclude the broker from the negotiations.
The broker is usually entitled to a commission when he or she produces a purchaser or seller that is “ready, able and willing to perform upon the terms fixed.” This is true whether there is a written contract, or even when there is only a verbal or hand-shake deal.
If you are a recruiter and you place an employee at an organization within any industry, then you are entitled to compensation.
Even if there is no written or verbal contract, you are still entitled to compensation. A contract is implied in fact or law because both parties know that the recruiter is not sending the candidates information for free, and both parties know they are doing it under the expectation of receiving compensation.
For recruiters, there are often industry standards for how much compensation is owed for placing employees. For instance, for financial advisors, the standard compensation is 6% of the candidates trailing 12 months’ production. For executives, the industry standard compensation is 20-25% of the candidate’s first-year salary.
Our attorneys have successfully resolved, through both lawsuits and pre-suit demands, numerous cases against fortune 500 companies for failing to pay recruiters in connection with the placement of executives, financial advisors, and other employees.
Sales representatives often receive commissions for selling products or services. Our attorneys regularly bring lawsuits against companies for sales reps who were cheated out of their full commissions.
For example, a former Scholastic account executive hired the Business Trial Group when he did not receive a commission on an approximately $8.7 million dollar sale in Palm Beach County, Florida. When Scholastic refused to pay the 7.5% full commission owed under tis compensation plan, the Business Trial Group brought a lawsuit on behalf of the account executive and helped him reach a confidential settlement.
The Business Trial Group has proven time and again that it is willing to see its clients’ cases through all the way to trial. In some instances, our clients have been able to recover both their unpaid commissions and their attorneys’ fees.
Are verbal agreements enforceable?
If you did not receive a commission that you are contractually entitled to — whether the contract is written or oral — the Business Trial Group may be able to help.
It is important to note that verbal contracts can be enforced. While the burden of proof is on the party who asserts an oral contract, oral agreements are just as valid as written contracts from a legal standpoint.
In fact, Florida law recognizes verbal brokerage agreements as valid and enforceable, and juries often enforce these agreements when the parties’ actions reflect the terms.
How the Business Trial Group can help
If you did the work, you deserve to get paid. Our business attorneys have extensive experience working with clients who wrongfully denied compensation and commissions, and we will fight to recover every dollar you are owed.
The Business Trial Group is one of the few business litigation firms that take cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that our clients pay no retainer or hourly fees, and no fees whatsoever until we successfully resolve your case.
Contact us for a free case review.