Tag Archives: article 6

Manhattan Federal Court: Financial Firm Retained Discretion to Award or Not Award Bonus

As we recently noted in our discussion of Massachusetts law, incentive compensation has the potential to become “wages” protected by state labor law once it is “earned.” However, when an employer conveys to the employee that it retains discretion to award or not award incentive compensation in any specific amount, such potential incentive compensation (whether … Continue Reading

Brooklyn Federal Court Judge Reiterates And Expands on Prior Opinion Regarding Plaintiff’s Attorneys’ Fees

As the volume of FLSA litigation remains high, an impediment to resolving such cases (even where the underlying claimant’s wage claim already has been resolved) is the issue of the appropriate fee to be paid to counsel representing the worker pursuant to the fee shifting provision of the FLSA and/or applicable state labor law.  Central … Continue Reading

New York State Court Reiterates That Commissions Are Not Wages Until Earned

Ensuring contracts and agreements reflect when incentive compensation – usually “commissions” – is earned is of paramount importance to New York employers who wish to maximize their rights, as evidenced by a recent decision from New York County Supreme Court Justice Ellen M. Coin.  Sherwin v Mestel & Co. N.Y., LLC, 2014 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS … Continue Reading

New York’s Highest Court Addresses Liability for Bonuses

An unsettled fertile area of litigation in New York has been the circumstances under which various types of incentive compensation—such as bonuses—become “earned” as wages and thus entitled to the protections of the New York Labor Law, which provide greater remedies than common law claims for breach of contract.  In a recent decision, New York’s … Continue Reading

SDNY – Executives Cannot Claim Unpaid Wages Under New York Labor Law, And Individual Liability Under Contract Claims Is Limited

Separated executives often assert wage claims following cessation of employment and big dollars are usually at issue. Important questions then arise, including principally: 1) whether the executive can assert a claim under the New York Labor Law; and, 2) just as importantly, who is responsible for any monies owed. A new decision issued by recently-appointed Judge Paul … Continue Reading

Manhattan Appeals Court Rejects Senior Executive’s Claim for Alleged Unpaid Incentive Compensation

Pursuant to New York State Department of Labor guidance and New York case law, incentive compensation is not considered “wages” unless it is “earned.” See generally Truelove v. Northeast Capital & Advisory, Inc., 95 N.Y.2d 220, 225 (2000). Accordingly, disputes over an employee’s entitlement to incentive compensation in New York often turn on whether a particular bonus, … Continue Reading

The Price of Foregoing Written Commission Agreements

As recently discussed here¸ a properly drafted commission agreement is essential in New York (and every state) to minimize exposure to a variety of claims, including claims for alleged unpaid commissions and improper wage deductions. In fact, in New York and other states, a written signed commission agreement is required pursuant to state law, absent … Continue Reading
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