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SAVE THE DATE
 Tishkoff-Boston Run Party

Tishkoff PLC is pleased to invite you to the annual Tishkoff-Boston Dexter-Ann Arbor Run Party on Sunday, June 4, 2017 from 8:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Our firm is located close to the finish line for the half marathon. Please let us know if you plan to participate and we will be there to cheer you on!

           AT THE FIRM                  

Tishkoff Welcomes Michelle Champane

Contact Michelle Champane
Welcome Michelle Champane, our new Associate Attorney!
  
Michelle Champane joined the firm as an Associate Attorney. She has additional experience in insurance defense litigation.

Ms. Champane earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from James Madison College at Michigan State University. While at Michigan State, she was elected to the James Madison College Student Senate. She also served as Chairwoman of the Michigan State University Judicial Board.
 
 Ms. Champane pursued her law degree at Wayne State University School of Law. She served as Chancellor of the Wayne Law Moot Court team and President of Wayne Law Entrepreneurship and Business Law Society. While in law school, Ms. Champane worked as a student attorney on Wayne Law’s Business and Community Law Clinic, where she advised for-profit and non-profit business entities on various business formation and organization issues.  
Contact Michelle Champane

Recent Nomination -- Washtenaw County Bar Association 

We have some exciting news!
  
Ms. Wixson  has been named the Washtenaw County Bar Association Business Law Section Co-Chair for 2017-2018.  Ms. Wixson is looking forward to another great year with the Washtenaw County Bar Association and the Tishkoff team.
Contact Sarah L. Wixson

TISHKOFF ARTICLE

Is Your Business Ready for the Departure of a Commission Based Employee?

Many businesses have employees and independent contractors who earn part or all of their compensation by way of commission. In many cases these commissions are paid based upon a percentage of the gross sales obtained by the employee.  

All too often small businesses don’t have a written sales agreement, and if they do, they are limited to addressing only the amount of the commission and how it is calculated.  Not only should a sales commission agreement clearly outline when and how sales commissions become due and are paid, it should also address how post-termination commissions are calculated and the duration of their payment.

Under Michigan Sales Representative Commission Act (SRCA), the due date of the payment of a commission is based on the terms written in the employment contract.  If there is no contract or the contract doesn’t specify a due date, then the history of the parties will control or, alternatively, custom and usage prevalent in the business.  For example, if Allie has consistently paid Bob within two weeks of a sale, then the due date will be two weeks after the sale under the statute.  If the parties have no prior history, then the general custom in the industry will prevail.  

Under the SRCA, in the event that a commissioned employee is terminated, commissions must be paid within 45 days of the date of termination or the due date, whichever is later.  An employer that fails to timely pay runs the risk of being liable for actual damages.  If an employer is found to have intentionally failed to pay, they may be additionally liable for two times the amount of the commissions or $100,000, whichever is less.  Thus, an employee owed $10,000 commission could receive $20,000 on top of their original $10,000 for a total of a $30,000 judgment.

In addition, Michigan applies the “procuring cause doctrine” whereby an employee is entitled to recover his commission “whether or not he has personally concluded and completed the sale, it being sufficient if his efforts were the procuring cause of the sale.”  Absent an agreement stating otherwise, under this doctrine, an employer runs the risk of potentially paying a former employee ongoing commissions for years after their departure, particularly in situations involving regular customers or ongoing multi-year contracts.  

Needless to say, it is best for both your business and your employees to have a contract with the exact parameters of the sales representative’s rights to commissions.  Such an agreement should not only address how and when commission are calculated and due, but also the amount and duration of commissions in the event that a sales representative leaves the business.

The above by no means covers all of the issues a business faces when it comes to sales commission agreements.  If your business lacks clarity in its agreement or doesn’t have one altogether, experienced attorneys at Tishkoff PLC are available to provide advice and guidance, please call our office today.  Toll Free: 1 (855) TISH-LAW.

 LOCAL EVENTS

Tishkoff PLC is excited about Taste of Ann Arbor!

Taste of Ann Arbor is Sunday June 4th from 11 AM - 5 PM. Taste of Ann Arbor is held in Downtown Ann Arbor on Main Street. They will have performances and live music to keep you entertained while trying out amazing food from 40 local restaurants.

Check out the Event page on Facebook: Taste of Ann Arbor

 

 SOCIAL MEDIA

Downtown lawyer life at its finest.
Enjoying new deck furniture.
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