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Brandon, Esq.
Brandon, Esq., Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 1836
Experience:  Has received a certificate of recognition from the California State Senate for his outstanding legal service.
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Commissions for Oregonian working for a California company

Resolved Question:

I'm an Oregon resident working for a California based company. I left the company on good terms, but after 3.5 weeks they are yet to reimburse my expenses (reimbursement policy is well documented) and are likely not going to pay my commissions. There is no clause in the employment contract or commission agreement stating I need to be employed to receive commissions. Curious overall what I'm entitled to under the law.

Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Joseph replied 1 year ago.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer.

I'm sorry to hear about your situation and hope I can help.

You are entitled to all expenses that you incurred within the scope of employment from your employer.

This comes from California Labor Code Section 2802 here:

2802. (a) An employer shall indemnify his or her employee for all necessary expenditures or losses incurred by the employee in direct consequence of the discharge of his or her duties, or of his or her obedience to the directions of the employer, even though unlawful, unless the employee, at the time of obeying the directions, believed them to be unlawful.
You are also entitled to all commissions that you earned while you were working. You are due commissions immediately after your employer receives payment from the customer for them.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Relist: Incomplete answer.
You answered only part of the question.
You addressed the obligation to pay expenses.

They did not address:
- The obligation to pay commissions, nor
- The penalties under the law for paying commissions and expenses so late after my final day.
Expert:  Brandon, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

First, let me say that I am terribly sorry to hear that you are in this situation. Concerning commission, you are entitled to any comission earned, to be paid on the day that you left as long as you gave your employer at least 72 hours notice that you were leaving. You state that "there is no clause in the employment contract or commission agreement stating I need to be employed to receive commissions." While this is true, there must be something in the contract which defines the moment in which your commission would become due. If you satisfied that requirement, then your commision would be owed to you. If you did not, then it would not be.

As to what the penalty would be, as soon as the amount of your commision becomes calculable to the employer, then the employer owes you a waiting time penalty for every day after that day up and until a maximum of 30 days. As to how the waiting time calculation is determined, they take your average earnings per day and multiply that by how many days your employer does not pay you up to a maximum of 30. If you do not know what that is, then they take your average monthly salary, multiply that by 12 months, divide that by 52 weeks, then divide that again by 5 days to determine the average amount you would make per day to determine your daily rate.

As for the base amount they use, they use all forms of income. So, even if they already paid part of what they owe, the calculation is still based on any fixed salary or commission you would have been owed to determined your daily rate. If for any reason this is unclear, please tell me and I will provide examples to better help with your understanding. Additionally, here is a website from the DLSE which provides examples that you may find helpful:

 

http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/faq_waitingtimepenalty.htm

Concerning your expenses, while you are entitled to your expenses, as mentioned by the previous expert, there is no additional penalty for not paying these as they are not considered to be wages.

Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.

If you do not require any further assistance, I would be most grateful if you would remember to provide my service a positive rating, as this is the only way I will receive credit for assisting you.

Brandon, Esq., Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 1836
Experience: Has received a certificate of recognition from the California State Senate for his outstanding legal service.
Brandon, Esq. and 2 other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you

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