Minimum Standards Monitor
Appellate Court Considers Payment of Commissions For Laid-Off Employee
Date: July 6, 2017
In Bakshi v. Global Credit & Collection Inc., the Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal of a decision of the Ontario Superior Court which had upheld the non-payment of commissions after lay-off on transactions that occurred prior to lay-off. The Superior Court had analyzed the applicable commission plan and found that the laid-off employees were not entitled to commissions because they were not “earned” under the terms of the plan.
On appeal, the appellant argued that he remained an employee of the respondent during his temporary lay-off. Relying on the Employment Standards Act, 2000, he submitted that the motion judge erred when he reasoned that the employment contract did not entitle him to commission during periods when he was not working.
The Court of Appeal did not accept this argument. The Superior Court’s dispositive finding was not that a collector had to be actively working an account to be entitled to commissions. The Court of Appeal found that the Superior Court’s dispositive finding was that a collector, under the terms of the commission plan, had to exceed a “breakeven” financial target to be entitled to a commission and a laid-off employee could not achieve that.
For a discussion of the lower court decision, see our Minimum Standards Monitor of November 24, 2016, When Are Commission Required To Be Paid?
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