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Contracts- Employment Law

7th Circuit Court of Appeals

Case Name: Michael Ross v. First Financial Corporate Services, Inc.

Case No.: 22-2081

Officials: Hamilton, Kirsch, and Jackson-Akiwumi, Circuit Judges.

Focus: Contracts- Employment Law

Plaintiff Ross worked as a sales representative for defendant First Financial Corporate Services, Inc. until January 2018. Ross filed this suit against First Financial and two of its senior executives for sales commissions he says he is owed. Under the terms of his employment contract, Ross could earn a commission at two different points: both when a customer first leased an equipment item from First Financial and then at the end of a lease term, if the customer either extended the lease or purchased the equipment outright.

In early 2017, First Financial acted to reduce commission rates going forward. Ross contends in this suit that First Financial breached his contract by applying the new, lower commission rates to end-of-lease transactions that occurred after the change took effect if the leases originally began before the change. The district court granted summary judgment for defendants. The company’s commission payments to Ross were correct because commissions on end-of-lease transactions are not earned until the customer actually agrees to and pays for the new transactions. Although Ross was reluctant to accept the new plan, he still accepted it by continuing to work for First Financial under its terms.


Decided 02/24/23

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