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Employment Contract

Spring Hill, FL |

I have a 1 year contract with my employer and they used the word "Shall Pay $XXXX guaranteed commision/month they sent me a email saying I would not get commission this month and I said they had to. Then they responded we do not, we used the word "Shall" not "Will" pay in the contract. Really? can they do that?

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Attorney answers 4


They may have some other way out of it, you need to have an attorney review it, but shall and will mean the same thing, they are both mandatory, not discretionary.

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You really need to review the rest of the agreement to see if there are other reasons. Have you discussed it with them ? For us lawyers, "shall" and "will" mean exactly the same.

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Bad excuse on their part. Tell them they need to come up with a better answer. "Shall" is a word of command denoting a mandatory meaning. They wrote the contract.

This is not legal advice. Think of this as what you would recieve from a wise uncle. And remember, you have never believed everything your uncle told you either. With free advice you generally get what you pay for.


There is no genuine argument that can be made as to the meaning of the term "shall." If the contract has the terms you indicate, the employer's position appears to be incorrect. However, contract interpretation requires consideration of all terms which must be read together to give full meaning to the entire agreement. I would suggest you have the entire agreement reviewed by an attorney.