Sunday, December 30, 2007

My comment on Hoffeld v. Shepherd Electric

In my prior post I reviewed the recent decision issues by the Court of Special Appeals in Hoffeld v. Shepherd Electric. After a bench trial (no jury), the Court held that the plaintiff was not entitled to several commissions because the employer had not yet invoiced several deals. The Court apparently reasoned in part that because Hoffeld knew that invoicing was part of the sale, he was not entitled to a commission on deals Shepherd had yet not invoiced by his last day worked.

After reading the decision, my feeling and the feeling of several of my colleagues was that it was not entirely consistent with the seminal case in the area, McCabe v. Medex. Medex holds that an employer cannot tie the payment of commission to a condition unrelated to the work necessary to earn those commissions. Because it appears from the trial record that Hoffeld had done all the work necessary to earn several commission, tying commission to the invoice date appeared to be arbitrary.

Hoffeld asked the highest Court in Maryland, the Court of Appeals, to review the Court of Special Appeals decision. The Metropolitan Employment Lawyers Association (MWELA) and Maryland Lawyers Association (MELA) filed an amicus brief supporting Hoffeld's request. I co-authored the brief.

I am pleased to report that Court of Appeals granted Hoffeld's request and will review the decision issued by the Court of Special Appeals.

No comments: