Sutula-Johnson v. Office Depot, Inc., No. 17-1855 (7th Cir. 2018)Annotate this Case
Sutula‐Johnson sold office furniture. In 2010, OfficeMax adopted a compensation plan that paid a commission rate depending on the sale’s profit. Commissions were earned either when a customer paid or 90 days after the customer was invoiced, whichever came first. Sutula‐Johnson negotiated better terms and earned commissions upon invoicing. OfficeMax and Office Depot merged in 2013. Office Depot continued paid Sutula‐Johnson and her colleagues under the terms of the old OfficeMax plan. In July 2014, Office Depot announced a new compensation plan for furniture sales, effective immediately. Sutula‐Johnson claims she did not receive a copy of the new plan for several weeks. The new plan significantly changed how Sutula‐Johnson was paid and reduced her total pay. She initially refused to sign it, complaining about its application to sales already in the works but not yet invoiced. Sutula‐Johnson continued working for Office Depot for more than a year. In 2015 Sutula‐Johnson resigned and sued for breach of contract and violations of the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act, 820 ILCS. 115/1. The Seventh Circuit affirmed summary judgment for Office Depot on the breach of contract claims but reversed as to the statutory claims. Sutula‐Johnson accepted the new terms by continuing to work but offered evidence that Office Depot violated the Wage Act by failing to pay her commissions monthly and by failing to pay her commissions earned before she resigned.