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Savage v. Scandit Inc.

Supreme Court of Idaho, Boise

May 1, 2018

KAREN L. SAVAGE, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
SCANDIT INC., Defendant-Respondent.

         Term 2018 Opinion No. 46

          Appeal from the District Court of the Fourth Judicial District of the State of Idaho, Valley County. Hon. Jason D. Scott, District Judge.

         The judgment of the district court is reversed. This case is remanded for further proceedings consistent with this Opinion.

          Givens Pursley, LLP, Boise, Attorney for appellant. Thomas Dvorak argued.

          Hawley, Troxell, Ennis & Hawley, Boise, for respondent. Daylen John Ashby argued.

          SCHROEDER, Justice pro tem

         I. NATURE OF THE CASE

         Karen Savage appeals the dismissal of her Idaho Wage Claim Act ("IWCA") action by the district court in Valley County. Savage brought this action against her employer Scandit Inc. ("Scandit") in November 2016 after Scandit failed to pay her over $400, 000 in commissions and bonuses she claims were due by the end of October. The district court granted Scandit's motion to dismiss finding that Savage had failed to allege that she had earned the commissions as defined in the 2016 Commission Compensation Plan ("CCP") between Savage and Scandit. The district court also denied Savage's motion to amend, holding that the amendment would be futile. This case was decided upon Scandit's motion to dismiss. Consequently the facts are those set forth in the complaint and attachments.

         II. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

          Savage was employed by Scandit as a senior sales executive. In early 2016 both parties signed the CCP. On September 27, 2016, Savage coordinated a Master Software License Agreement with Amazon Services, LLC ("Amazon Agreement"). Savage's commission from the Amazon Agreement was $390, 234. Savage alleges that the commission became due in late September or October of 2016. Scandit agrees that the commission was not paid during this time and agrees that at this stage Savage is entitled to the assumption that the prepayment was due. Both parties rely on section IV of the CCP, which in relevant part provides the following:

Commissions shall become earned (i.e. not subject to recoupment or "claw-back" by Employer) only upon (a) recognition of revenue by Scandit according to its then current revenue recognition policies, and (b) actual receipt of payment from the customer.
Therefore, should one or both of these conditions fail to occur, the paid but unearned commissions must be returned to Scandit by Employee per Section V below. Employee's obligation to return any prepaid but unearned commission survives any termination of the Employee's engagement with Scandit, and Employee agrees that such amounts may be deducted from Employee's final paycheck including severance payments, if any.
100% of the respective commission will be paid as soon as reasonably practicable following the booking of the Order, and ideally no later than within 30 days of the end of the month during which the transaction has been booked.

         The Section continues on to discuss the criteria for a sale to be considered "booked."

         Savage did not receive the payment when she alleges it was due and brought this suit seeking treble damages under the IWCA as well as contractual damages. Additionally, the contract provides for an annual quota bonus of $36, 000 should her sales for the year surpass a certain quantity. The relevant section of the CCP states:

Employee will earn a bonus of USD 36, 000 if the combined ACV [Annual Contract Value] of renewals and Orders equals CHF [Swiss ...

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