California Employment Law

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I have just been laid off from a pharmaceutical company. The…

I have just been laid...
I have just been laid off from a pharmaceutical company. The quarterly bonuses are paid about 2.5 months in arrears because of the lag in receiving sales data. The company has everyone sign that they have to be employed at the time of payout. This is bonus money that has already been earned. There has been a precedent that t hey have paid out to other employees who left in the past. How can I get them to pay me for the days I have worked in Q2 (April to today)? This money will not be calculated until about mid to end August.

Thanks
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Answered in 20 minutes by:
6/5/2013
John
John, Employment Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 6,013
Experience: Exclusively practice labor and employment law.
Verified
Hi, thanks for submitting your question today. What state did this occur in. Has HR indicated whether a severance package would be offered to you?
Ask Your Own California Employment Law Question
Customer reply replied 5 years ago

Yes. I have an 8 week severance package, but does not include the IC plan bonus. I live in NC. Company is headquartered in CA.

Joseph
Joseph, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 5,299
Experience: Extensive experience representing employees and management
Verified

Hello. Different expert here. The question was changed to California Employment Law, since your company is headquartered in California. Can you tell me if you're an at will employee or do you have an employment contract with your employer?

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Customer reply replied 5 years ago

At will.

I'm very sorry to hear about your situation.

I regret having to be the bearer of bad news, but, unfortunately, you are not automatically entitled to this bonus, and there is nothing you can do to force your employer to pay you the bonus, since they are free to require employees be employed at the time the bonus is paid.

Unfortunately, if you are an at-will employee and do not have an employment contract with your employer that states that you will receive a bonus, the bonus is discretionary, meaning the employer is not obligated to pay it.

This stems from the employment at-will doctrine, which is codified in California Labor Code Section 2922, and states:

"An employment, having no specified term, may be terminated at
the will of either party on notice to the other. Employment for a
specified term means an employment for a period greater than one
month."

Although the employer may have compensated other employees with the bonus in the past, their past practice does not obligate them to compensate you or other future employees with it.

I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX had better news to give you, and I do not agree with the current status of the law, but it is my professional responsibility to give you an honest answer to your question, and you shouldn't expect anything less.

Since my goal is to provide you with excellent service, please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any additional questions or need any additional information.

If not, please remember to rate my answer positively so I get credit for my work!

Thanks and best of luck!
Joseph
Joseph, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 5,299
Experience: Extensive experience representing employees and management
Verified
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