Almost all employers who use commissioned salespeople have an understanding with them regarding how commissions are earned; some even put this agreement into writing. Unfortunately, many do not state specifically when employees stop earning commissions. This can lead to expensive, unintended consequences in Texas.
Last month, the Texas Supreme Court in Perthuis v. Baylor Miraca Genetics Lab’ys, LLC, breathed new life into an old doctrine (the “procuring-cause” doctrine) that originally dealt with real estate broker commission agreements. In Perthuis, the court held that an at-will employee who receives a commission as part of his compensation continues to earn commissions on sales consummated after the employee’s termination if:
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- The employee was the “procuring cause” of the sales, and
- The commission agreement between the employer and employee “is silent about any exceptions.”
As you are no doubt aware, the 2022 Regular Legislative Session ended on Monday, June 6. Some new laws relevant to the HR professional made it out of the session, as did some interesting, but not-so-relevant ones. Outlined below are some of the most significant.
Bills of Interest to HR
House Bill 54. (This Bill will become law if not vetoed by 6/26.) This law will prohibit any governmental entity or public educational institution from seeking proof of vaccination status from anyone seeking entry or discriminating against an employee for refusing to adhere to a COVID vaccination requirement.
House Bill 988. (This Bill will become law if not vetoed by 6/23.) This law will prohibit a public employer from discriminating against any employee or applicant based solely on a positive drug test for marijuana if the employee or applicant has been diagnosed as suffering from a debilitating medical condition and a licensed physician has recommended marijuana for therapeutic use.
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