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California-Resignation and Bonus Payout California

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  • California-Resignation and Bonus Payout California

    I resigned from my position with my former company on November 30, 2016. I completed two full months of the 4th Quarter leaving one month that I did not work. Before I left I looked through our "intranet" to find information on the bonus payout rules and found nothing. I was never given an "Employee Handbook" with a section detailing commission payments. My signed "Offer Letter" states that I was to receive quarterly bonus payouts, which would be discussed in training. Separation from the company was never discussed regarding bonus payouts. I called the HR of this company last week, which is based in Massachusetts (I work in CA), asking when the 4th quarter bonus would be paid out. I stated I was a previous employee and the HR representative told me to hold on so he could speak to the U.S. HR colleagues. I had called the "800" HR number. He came back on the line and said the payout will be 3/4/2016 (yesterday). I checked my ADP account and there is no remittance for a bonus from this company and obviously, there was no direct deposit. My concern is that the European HR person does not understand the bonus payout structure. I am also concerned that there was no remittance posted in my account for release of a hard copy of a check. Can anybody advise me on a course of action?

  • #2
    It might be "possible" you do not receive the bonus unless you worked the entire 4th quarter. There must be a company bonus agreement somewhere re the rules for payout. You can read here re bonus payment Ca. http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/DLSEManua...enfcmanual.pdf see sect. 35 re bonus

    I know you meant you terminated 11-30-15 (not 2016). 3-4-16 was only a couple of days ago but you could call & see why you didn't receive your bonus & re the remittance not posted for hard copy of ck. Can you possibly call the US office?
    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

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    • #3
      A structure in which you have to be employed on the day of the payout of the bonus to receive it is legal in both MA and CA.
      The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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      • #4
        Agreed with the other answers. Past that:
        - You need to read the exact wording of your company's bonus plan. While a well written bonus plan can and often will legally exclude terminated employees, we do not yet know that is what is true here.
        - While the terms are sometimes used as meaning the same thing, "bonus" and "commission" are legally two very different things in CA. Is there any chance you mean "commission" when you say bonus?
        "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
        Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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        • #5
          Originally posted by DAW View Post
          Agreed with the other answers. Past that:
          - You need to read the exact wording of your company's bonus plan. While a well written bonus plan can and often will legally exclude terminated employees, we do not yet know that is what is true here.
          - While the terms are sometimes used as meaning the same thing, "bonus" and "commission" are legally two very different things in CA. Is there any chance you mean "commission" when you say bonus?
          I wanted to follow up as I am the OP.

          It is called "Incentive Compensation."

          The employer ended up sending me the incentive policy, which states you must be employed the entire quarter.

          "Participants who voluntarily resign will be eligible to earn IC if employed and otherwise eligible on the last working day of the applicable Performance Period. Participants who voluntarily resign within the last two weeks of the Performance Period will be treated as eligible for that Performance Period."

          I gave two weeks notice with one month left in the quarter for eligibility, so I am not eligible for the payout.

          However, because I was investigating this policy I discovered that I could file a DLSE "Waiting Time Penalty" claim because they were two weeks late paying me my wages and 24 days late paying my vacation payout.

          I had my "conference" and they did not show or respond. The Deputy sent them a new notice for a "hearing." She said big corporations know the law, but they just choose to ignore it. She also said if I didn't hear from her then they still had not responded. It's been two months and I haven't heard anything, so I am sure they are still ignoring the claim.

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          • #6
            Different state/juristictions do things differently and I have not read your paperwork, but basically if you have an actual judgement issued by CA-DLSE, you send several collection letters to your former employer via certified mail. If that does not work, you go to your local sheriff and ask them about collecting on a judgement. You need to ID an asset for them to seize. In a perfect world you would have their checking account number written down somewhere. But long story short, Sheriff siezes the asset and will sell it after a while althought the employer normally folds before that happens.
            "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
            Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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            • #7
              Originally posted by DAW View Post
              Different state/juristictions do things differently and I have not read your paperwork, but basically if you have an actual judgement issued by CA-DLSE, you send several collection letters to your former employer via certified mail. If that does not work, you go to your local sheriff and ask them about collecting on a judgement. You need to ID an asset for them to seize. In a perfect world you would have their checking account number written down somewhere. But long story short, Sheriff siezes the asset and will sell it after a while althought the employer normally folds before that happens.
              Thanks DAW. I do not have a judgement yet. They did not show up or respond to the "conference," so the Deputy sent them another claim for a "hearing." As of today, I have heard nothing. My "conference" was on May 11, 2016.

              They are just ignoring the whole situation. This is a global company with over 10,000 employees.

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              • #8
                The CA-DLSE paperwork should have been a judgement. Take it to an attorney and have the attorney read it.
                "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
                Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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                • #9
                  Thanks DAW. I gave it to an attorney and she said she could send a "demand" letter even though I have filed with the DLSE. I don't know if I should do that since I am already in "the system," and they are just ignoring it. The attorney said that they may not be getting the notices, or they are getting lost.

                  I called the DLSE again this morning and they said that they received "approval" for the hearing and I will be notified as to what date that is.

                  Comment

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