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Yudell v. Ann Israel & Assocs – Case Brief Summary (New York)

In Yudell v. Ann Israel & Assocs., 248 AD2d 189, 669 N.Y.S.2d 580 (1st Dept 1998), the employee earned commissions based on a percentage of all fees actually received that were "originated by" her. She brought an action to recover commissions for her role in securing two placements that were completed post-termination.

The employer contended that as a matter of law, the employee could not recover commissions for placements that were finalized after she left.

In denying summary judgment, this Court held that the words "placements . . . originated by you" did not alone specify when or how the placement must be completed in order to entitle the employee to a commission (id. at 189).

Had the employer meant to foreclose the possibility of the employee earning a post-termination commission on a placement unquestionably originated by her, it could have said so explicitly, such as "placements originated and completed by you" or "placements originated by you which occur during your employment here" (id. at 190).