The ERA roundtable forum included lively and thoughtful questions and comments by business owners and managers, directed toward improving their ability to collect commissions owed for their sales representatives’ work promoting sales for manufacturers. In addition to outlining important terms that should be included in written contracts, much of the discussion concerned the application of the Independent Wholesale Sales Representatives Contractual Relations Act, California Civil Code §§ 1738.10 et seq. Under the Act, a manufacturer must have a signed written contract with the sales rep containing particular terms required by the Act, and the manufacturer must provide a written accounting with every payment of commissions. When a manufacturer willfully fails to comply with the requirements of the Act, the sales rep is entitled to three times his or her unpaid commissions and other damages, plus attorney fees.
Eric Engel and Kim Sim were the trial attorneys in Reilly v. Inquest Technology, the first precedent in California that enforced the full remedy of treble damages under the Act. In Reilly, application of the Act led to a $2.1 million jury verdict becoming a judgment for $6.2 million, plus attorney fees and interest. ERA and its partner organization, Manufacturers’ Agents National Association (MANA), were important sponsors of the Act and similar legislation enacted in about 36 other states to protect the rights of independent wholesale sales representatives. CK&E is proud to be able to help sales representatives create contracts that protect their rights to be paid for their services, and to help them enforce their rights when disputes arise.