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Tina
Tina, Attorney
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 32010
Experience:  JD, 16 years experience & recognized by ABA for excellence in employment law.
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I am resident in the state of california, I signed a 3 year

Customer Question

I am resident in the state of california, I signed a 3 year employment contract with 10,000 employment bonus per year effective from November 1, 2009 to October 31, 2012. On August 16, 2012 my employment contract was terminated just about 2 months to complete my contract, now the company is asking me to pay back the $10,000 for the last year. I had a friend who had similar experience and he told me that according to california employment laws, the bonus is considered as part of employee wages and his Lawyer wrote a letter to this company and he did not refund the money. Please, I need your advice on what to do.
Thanks
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Tina replied 1 year ago.
Hello and welcome,

On what basis was the contract terminated? Did that comply with the employment agreement? Does the contract speak to when the bonus is earned and paid or whether it may be clawed back from the employee under some circumstances?

If not, does the employer have a policy stating whether the employee may be required to reimburse the employer for the bonus under any circumstances?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.


I am waiting for your response please

Expert:  Tina replied 1 year ago.
Hello again Haruna. There must be some technical problem involved as I was awaiting your response to the following questions I sent you:


On what basis was the contract terminated? Did that comply with the employment agreement? Does the contract speak to when the bonus is earned and paid or whether it may be clawed back from the employee under some circumstances?

If not, does the employer have a policy stating whether the employee may be required to reimburse the employer for the bonus under any circumstances?

Please provide this additional information so I can provide you with usable information. Thank you.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
As I said, I do not have the contract information. And I have written the company but no response.Actually, my question is: what is the state of California employment laws position on this? Is it as my said, as I stated in my first statement? Thank you
Expert:  Tina replied 1 year ago.
Hello again, Haruna.

Without the contract information available, the answer could change. Normally, if a bonus is earned and paid to an employee, the employer may NOT demand an employee repay the bonus, and any attempt to compel payment by legal action would normally fail.

If the employee agreed to reimburse the employer if they did not remain employed until a certain date, then a court would typically enforce that agreement though, so it is important to review the contract to determine the terms that were agreed upon.

If there is no agreement to repay the bonus and the employer withholds wages from the employee, then a wage claim should normally be filed with the state labor board.


It has been my pleasure to assist you. Please remember to press the smiley faces/stars on the right of your screen when we are finished with our communication so I will be credited for my time. Kindly remember to ONLY rate my answer when you are fully satisfied. If you feel the need to rate anything less than OK, please stop and reply to me via the REPLY TO EXPERT or CONTINUE CONVERSATION button with whatever issue or clarification you may need. I will be happy to continue further and assist you until I am able to explain your concern to your satisfaction. Please also remember that I cannot control whether the law is favorable to you or not, so please don’t shoot the messenger.

Thank you very much and all the best to you,

Tina

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