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LawTalk, Attorney
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 37855
Experience:  I have 30 years of experience in the practice of law, including employment law and discrimination law.
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My former Employer kept my Safety Bonus which they pull money

Customer Question

My former Employer kept my Safety Bonus which they pull money from my earnings and will not give it to me as they say I quit before they handed out safety bonus. I finished my full 3 months which was June,July & Aug. then they pay in Sept. Do they have the right since they said I signed which I did a piece of paper stateing this.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  LawTalk replied 5 years ago.
Good morning,

I'm Doug, and I'm very sorry to hear of your situation.

Quite simply yes, you have a legal right to be paid the safety bonus. The bonus, under CA law, is based on something that occurred in the past---and when you finished the quarter and were automatically eligible for the bonus---and the only thing necessary to get the bonus was the passage of time until it was paid, and you didn't need to do anything for the employer additional, then the bonus is due to you even if your employment with the employer terminated after the quarter, and before the bonus was paid.

Additionally, as they are intentionally withholding your wages from you, you may sue for liquidated damages as well.

Under federal laws (FLSA), you are also entitled to what is called Liquidated damages. Liquidated damages is equal to the amount of back wages that they owe you and must be paid in addition to the wages themselves---so you essentially get double overtime wages in the claim based on their willful failure to pay you.

Here is an excellent article which deals with pursuing an FLSA claim---which you may do in either state court or federal court. Do take the time to review it:

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