Practice Areas

There are many ways an employer can violate California's wage and hour laws. Unpaid wages not only take the form of not receiving payment for work performed, but unpaid wages can also include unpaid commissions and not being compensated for accrued vacation time. Additionally, you may have a claim for business expenses that came out of your pocket. The best way to find out if you have a claim is to speak with an experienced employment lawyer.

The attorneys at Optimum Employment Lawyers are experienced in handling all forms of unpaid wage claims. We are experienced at efficiently and effectively analyzing your case and giving you a breakdown of your current situation. Contact us to begin the process of recovering your unpaid wages.

Unpaid Commission Claims

Commission disputes are some of the most common types of unpaid wage claims asserted by employees. These cases typically involve a discrepancy in the amount of compensation owed for completing work or meeting a sales goal. Often, unpaid commission claims arise in connection with a termination, layoff, or resignation — which can add to the complexity of the case.

In California, employees may enter into a commission-only agreement, or they may be paid commission in addition to their hourly pay. Generally, California law requires commission to be paid twice a month. Absent a forfeiture provision in a written commission agreement, an employee is also entitled to any unpaid commissions upon the termination of employment.

If your employer left you with unpaid commissions that you rightfully earned, it's essential to take the necessary measures to recover what you are owed. The attorneys at Optimum Employment Lawyers are deeply familiar with the codes and regulations governing all aspects of employment law and are committed to ensuring you receive the unpaid commissions you worked to earn.

Trusted Advocacy to Recover Your Unpaid Vacation Pay

Under California law, employers do not have to provide employees with either paid or unpaid vacation time. However, if there is a company policy or contract in place to provide paid vacation time, employees must be adequately compensated for the time they earned. Significantly, vacation time must be treated in the same way as earned wages — it cannot expire or be taken away. In other words, “use it or lose it” policies are illegal in California. An employer must pay any unpaid vacation time upon an employee's termination or resignation.

However, California law allows for certain restrictions that can be placed on vacation time:

  • Caps on accrual of vacation time — It is permissible for an employer to cap vacation accrual at a reasonable number of days.
  • Requirement to submit vacation requests for pre-approval — Employers may require employees to request vacation days a certain number of days or weeks in advance.
  • Restrictions on vacation days — Employers can "black out" specific days on which employees are not permitted to take vacation time.

Unused vacation time must be paid timely with an employee's final paycheck. If an employer fails to do so, an employee may be eligible to receive a "waiting time" penalty based on their average daily wage up to 30 days — in addition to the vacation time owed. If your employer wrongfully withheld unpaid vacation pay from you, our skilled employment attorneys will focus on ensuring you obtain the maximum amount of compensation you are entitled by law.

Representation to Hold Your Employer Accountable for Failure to Reimburse for Business Expenses

California Labor Code mandates that employers reimburse employees for reasonable and necessary business-related expenses they incurred to perform their jobs. If an employer violates this law, an employee may be able to recover not only the reimbursement they are owed, but also attorney's fees and litigation costs.

Employees may be reimbursed for the following work-related expenses:

  • Mileage and tolls
  • Hotel accommodations
  • Uniforms and shoes
  • Airfare
  • Cell phone or internet expenses
  • Laptops

Employees may also be eligible to receive reimbursement for certain business expenses incurred as a result of remote work. An employer may legally be allowed to increase a worker's salary to compensate them for work-related expenditures — as long as there is a way to determine the portion of the salary designated for business expenses. However, an employer may not request that an employee waive their right to reimbursement. Our attorneys are adept at litigating even the most complex business expense reimbursement claims and securing the compensation to which our clients are entitled.

Contact a Knowledgeable California Wage and Hour Attorney

If you were improperly denied any of the wages or compensation you are lawfully entitled to be paid, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit against your employer. A diligent employment law attorney can advise you regarding your legal rights and remedies — and help ensure you receive the pay you were denied. Optimum Employment Lawyers is dedicated to fighting for the rights of workers throughout California regarding wage and hour matters and representing clients in all types of employment matters. Contact us at (949) 954-8181 for a free consultation.