Jason Walker sues Compass over commission, defamation

Broker alleges that firm is run by “serial promise-breakers and inexperienced staff”

From left: Jason Walker and Robert Reffkin
From left: Jason Walker and Robert Reffkin

After being unceremoniously fired from Compass last year, agent Jason Walker has filed a lawsuit against the brokerage, claiming it broke promises made to him and later spread false rumors about his personal life and ability as an agent.

In a 20-page complaint filed in New York Supreme Court Wednesday, Walker accused Compass of being run by “serial promise-breakers and inexperienced staff with outsized egos who lacked real estate knowledge.”

In the suit, Walker said he was terminated on “trumped-up grounds” in August 2015 and that Compass subsequently failed to pay him $170,000 in commissions he was owed.

“Compass has also threatened Walker by saying that if he brought this lawsuit, they would spread further rumors about him including that he is misogynistic (which is false),” the complaint states. Walker is seeking $6 million in punitive damages and lost business, as well as $340,000 in contractual damages and nearly $105,000 in commission fees once two transactions close this summer.

In a statement, a Compass spokeswoman said: “We believe the fact that Jason Walker, who was with Compass for only a matter of weeks, is now seeking more than $6 million in unsubstantiated damages, speaks for itself.”

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“We believe that individuals that are not collaborative are not a good fit for Compass,” she added.

Walker, who is now at CORE, joined Compass in June 2015 from Douglas Elliman, where he was Rookie of the Year in 2005.

Terms of his agreement, according to the suit, included a 75 percent commission split on deals he sourced; payment for lost commissions as a result of leaving Elliman; the option to purchase six figures’ worth of Compass stock; a $50,000 marketing budget, and a $5,000 trip to Canyon Ranch.

He was also promised a “recruiting fee” of 10 percent of commissions generated by any agents he recruited to Compass, according to the complaint, which stated that Compass pledged to help Walker land new development work within two years.

After Walker left Compass, the suit claims, he was not allowed to retrieve his personal belongings from his office, his email was abruptly switched off and his listings were removed from Compass’ system. As a result, he lost “several lucrative deals, clients and business opportunities.”