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John Bassett Trawick

John Trawick’s Answers

2 total

  • I would like to know if a Union employee can be terminated without just cause in the state of Florida?

    This question pertains to a civil servant job within a City. If the rules and regulations state just cause for termination is conviction of a felony or misdemeanor but the person was never convicted, in fact the case was nolle prossed can that per...

    John’s Answer

    Civil Service employees are generally not employed "at will," meaning that unlike in the private sector, such employees can only be terminated for specific, defined events, which are usually included in the definition of "cause." If "cause" in this case is limited to only a conviction, then I wouldn't think that a "nolle pros," by itself (which is a dismissal of the charges), would be a sufficient basis for a termination. Look closely at the language defining "cause."

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  • How long can an employer withhold earned sales commission once fired?

    I am paid base plus commission and they claim to hold up to 6 months. If the contracted service has been executed or paid, can they still withhold? Can they also refuse to pay for any reason beyond a contract cancellation?

    John’s Answer

    In Florida, if an employer fails to pay commissions to an employee, that employee may sue the employer and if he wins, the employee not only get awarded the commission he was owed, but the employer also has to reimburse the employee for all of his attorney's fees. Generally, an employer is required to remit earned commissions to an employee within a reasonable time, consistent with the employer's regular business practice. Six months seems like an unreasonable amount of time. Sometimes an employer will have a practice of holding commissions for a particular period of time, pending certain defined events (such as a sales commission that's earned and then adjusted thereafter as the result of warranty claims by the customer). Bottom line -- the employer's right to withhold the commission depends upon the reason for the withholding. In your situation, the employer would have to have a very good reasons to withhold payment of commisisons for such a long time.

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