Those commissions not being paid? Illinois Sales Representative Act is your answer.

I was recently retained by a small company that markets various telecommunications products to other small businesses. My client had signed a contract to act as a sales representative for another company[let’s call that company Slow Pay Corp.]. Slow Pay Corp sold telecommunications software. For several years, things were great – my client was making lots of sales and getting lots of commission checks. My client continued to perform well by selling lots of Slow Pay Corp hardware. But the commission checks slowed down. And of course they finally stopped. There was a substantial amount of commissions outstanding. My client was patient – he made some phone calls and promises were made. But the checks never came. So he called me.

I filed a complaint on his behalf and included the standard breach of contract count and Illinois Wage Payment Act count. I am not sure that my client counts as an employee though – a judge will make that decision. Fortunately, I stumbled across the Illinois Sales Representative Act, 820 ILCS 120/2[“The Act”]. A nice little remedy for sales pros who are not getting paid. The Act permits sales reps who aren’t getting paid to collect THREE TIMES the amount of withheld commissions. And, the Act also allows for attorney fees. So those companies that jerk sales reps around do so at their peril. They may end up owing far more than the commissions checks they forgot to write