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Court upholds award of unpaid commissions and double-damage penalty

The Court of Appeals recently upheld an arbitration and Circuit Court holding that punished an employer for wrongfully withholding earned commissions from a fired employee.  The case is Versatube Stamping Corporation v. Louis G. Conti.  Pursuant to the Sales Representative Commission Act, MCL 600.2961, the Court awarded Conti both his unpaid commissions and double-damages.  Versatube had argued that Conti did not meet the statutory definition of a "sales representative" despite the fact that by contract, he was to be paid a commission for "new work".  The Court also refused to reverse the award based on Versatube's complaint that Conti had  discussed child-raising during a brief "ex parte" conversation with the arbitrator during a bathroom break.

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