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Commissions are a form of wages and California law strictly regulates and enforces an employers obligation to pay earned wages. Even if you had
posted negative feedback online, that would not entitle your employer to hold back what you are owed. Moreover, assuming that your comments are either true statements of fact or statements of opinion, the comments would not be legally actionable in their own right anyway.
Commissions are "earned" when vested, and employers are free to draft contracts which specify when vesting will occur. As of January 2013, the law requires all employers to have written contracts which state when commissioned employees "vest" their commissions, so check your contract and see when your commissions become earned. The most common "vesting trigger" is receipt of payment on the sale.
If the trigger for vesting has already occurred, your employer has a legal obligation to pay that money within 72 hours after you give notice of your intent to quit or your last day or employment, whichever is later. If vesting does not occur until after this deadline for the payment of final wages, your employer must pay your commissions immediately upon their vesting.
If your employer fails to pay you your commissions pursuant to the above timelines, penalties may be imposed against them pursuant to Labor Code 203. Specifically, failure to pay a departing employee's final wages in a timely fashion will typically result in the assessment of a penalty in the amount of the employee's daily rate of pay for each day the wages go unpaid up to 30 days.
So for example, if an employee who makes $100 a day is not paid his final wages until 20 days after they are due, he would be entitled to a $2,000 penalty from his employer in addition to the earned wages.
A claim for your unpaid commissions and potentially any applicable penalties can be made by filing with the Department of Labor Standards Enforcement. To file a wage claim with the DLSE, visit this link: http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/howtofilewageclaim.htm
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