Unpaid Wages, Salaries, Bonuses, Commissions, and Incentive Compensation
In addition to a base salary, many professionals rely on bonuses, commissions, and incentive compensation for a significant part of their overall compensation. Bonus disputes commonly arise when a bonus has been miscalculated, withheld over an unrelated grievance, or because the employee was terminated. Employees with questions about how they are being paid should get legal answers to their questions. Employers who have written compensation agreements should get those agreements reviewed before an expensive problem arises. Our firm both analyzes and creates compensation agreements that comply with the laws. Below are some common misconceptions about wages, but the list is not exhaustive. Our firm can answer specific questions about whether wages and hours are being handled properly.
Complying with federal and state laws for recording and paying wages is one of the most difficult areas of employment law. Lawsuits alleging “wage theft” in the workplace are occurring with greater frequency. Employers and employees alike lack sufficient knowledge about what is required, and the laws change almost yearly. Many “agreements” made at work about how wages will be paid, are simply “illegal” agreements, and neither side knows a problem exists until a dispute arises.
All Hours Must be Paid:
Common wage issues arise for the following: Employees are not paid for “down” time, travel time, or time between projects, when the law requires payment for each hour of the day.
Salary vs. Exemption:
Most people erroneously believe that paying workers a salary automatically eliminates the need to pay overtime. This belief is legally incorrect.
Most do not believe pay stub contents are critical, while the law requires at least nine (9) specific items on each attached (not detached) pay stub.
Most people erroneously believe agreements can require workers to pay back their sign-on bonuses when the worker leaves before the “guaranteed” employment period ends.
Many are not aware the law has a strict definition of what makes a “commission” so that most workers receiving such “commissions” are not actually commissioned employees.
Final Pay Checks:
The final paycheck is due either on the date of discharge, or within three days of resignation, and many continue to violate the law by providing the final paycheck on the next payroll date.
Incentive Pay Contracts:
Many businesses do not realize their bonus and commission contracts cannot be enforced because of requirements under California law.
Most businesses forget to re-calculate the hours worked, overtime due, for the “split” week that occurs because of the timing of semi-monthly payments. Please see our FAQ’s page for more information regarding wages, salaries, bonuses and commissions.
Our firm has extensive experience resolving compensation issues. To learn more about how we can help with your wage, salary, bonus, commission, or incentive compensation dispute, please call 408.796.7551, or fill out the contact form with a brief description of your problem.