Now Accepting New Clients!

CONTRACTS 16: Claim for payment of commissions post termination.

Plaintiff supplied technical workers to defendant and retains a percentage of the fees received by the customers for the workers placed with them. The written agreement signed by plaintiff states the following terms regarding compensation: 5% commission on all billable hours logged for all workers. Commission is paid monthly. All employment contracts are written.  Plaintiff was terminated in 2016.

In 2018, plaintiff filed an action asserting that defendant stopped paying plaintiff the 5% commission for referred workers in 2016 and failed to provide an accounting of billings for employees referred by plaintiff.

Motion for Summary Disposition

Defendant filed a motion for summary disposition. Defendant asserted that plaintiff’s breach-of-contract claim was unenforceable as a matter of law because the written agreement did not require the payment of commissions to plaintiff after termination of his employment or for defendant to provide plaintiff with an accounting of the hours billed for referred workers.

Contract Ambiguous

The court denied summary disposition on plaintiff’s breach-of-contract claim for payment of post termination commissions, noting that the contract was silent regarding termination of the contract and the obligation to pay commissions after the termination of employment.

An employment contract is just a contract. The goal of contract interpretation is to give effect to the intent of the parties, to be determined first and foremost by the plain and unambiguous language of the contract itself.

At best, the contract is silent on this issue. Although silence does not equal ambiguity if the law provides a rule to be applied in the absence of a provision to the contrary.

The court agreed that the contract’s silence on the issue of post termination commissions does not, by itself, require the payment of such commissions. Rather, because the employment contract is ambiguous on this issue and no rule of law governs its resolution, further factual development is necessary to resolve the ambiguity. Therefore, summary disposition under MCR 2.116(C)(8) is inappropriate.

Experienced Representation Ready to Work for Your Business

At Aldrich Legal Services, our attorneys offer comprehensive business law services for business owners and employers.  Our attorneys can review your business and employer contracts to ensure they are not ambiguous.

Contact Aldrich Legal Services

Speak to a Pro: (734) 404-3000

FAMILY LAW 77: Court awarded plaintiff sole legal custody; defendant was unwilling to work with plaintiff.

For joint custody to work, parents must be able to agree with each other on basic issues in child rearing including health care, religion, education, day to day decision making and discipline and they must be willing to cooperate with each other in joint decision making. If two equally capable parents are unable to cooperate and to agree generally concerning important decisions affecting the welfare of their children, the court has no alternative but to determine which parent shall have sole custody of the children.

CRIMINAL 19: Sentencing guidelines are advisory.

The sentencing guidelines are advisory, and although a trial court must determine the applicable guidelines range and take it into account when imposing a sentence, the court is not required to sentence a defendant within that range.

Basic responsibilities of an executor

Originally posted on 01/11/2017 The emotional toils of dealing with the death of a loved one can be considerably difficult. Nevertheless, perseverance is paramount; especially if you are appointed to be an executor to one’s...

What you need to compliment your will

Originally posted on 02/08/2017 Making end-of-life plans usually end with a will, but they shouldn't. Some believe that simply having a will is enough. However, this post will briefly explain how having other estate planning...

The benefits of home health care providers

Originally posted on 03/22/2017 As we get older or suffer an injury, we need a little extra help. Home health care providers or caregivers can provide the assistance needed to handle your or your loved one's health and safety...

What to know about bail conditions

Originally posted on 03/06/2017 If you have been arrested and are being held on the suspicion that you have committed a particular crime, chances are that the only thing you are thinking about is getting out of jail as soon as possible and...

College students and estate planning

Originally posted on 12/16/2016 With college semesters starting up in Michigan, it may not be so easy to get college students to think responsibly. This time can be especially tough with the need of moving back to school and getting...

Three reasons to put a power of attorney in place

Originally posted on 11/08/2016 While no one wants to think of the unfortunate possibility of being incapacitated or of a time when we can't handle our own affairs, this circumstance is a real possibility. If something happens and this...

How to approach parents about estate planning

Originally posted on 12/09/2016 Family forms a strong foundation for many people's first and most intimate community. It is important to strengthen these first relationships so even uncommon questions become natural. For those...

PROBATE 44: Petition for Mental Health Treatment

Michigan’s Mental Health Code governs the civil admission and discharge procedures for a person with a mental illness. Specifically, MCL 330.1434 sets forth the procedure and content requirements for a petition for mental health treatment.

Should you get your criminal record expunged?

Originally posted on 04/12/2017 If you have been convicted of a crime, have served your sentence, and have followed all court recommendations, you should be able to put your past behind you and move on with life. Moving forward is critical...

Don't let a bad decision, unfair contract, or a messy divorce get in the way of a promising future!
Contact the experienced team at Aldrich Legal Services today to schedule your free initial
and secure reliable and trustworthy representation today!
Get the Help You Need From a Team You Can Truly Count On: (734) 404-3000