El Dorado Hills, CA asked in Employment Law for California

Q: My company is a large international firm with 25k employees and many in Cal. Not knowing the law shouldn't be an excuse.

They still have not paid my bonus. During my last bonus cycle in the Fall, they removed money for something that was not part of my metrics. They also deducted money from my final checks for my fleet vehicle, which they had already picked up. In addition, today, January 25th, I still have not received anything regarding COBRA and have learned my health insurance termed 12/31/2023.

Bonuses were paid quarterly, 2 months after the end of quarter and at a fixed amount. We were told we would receive our bonuses even though we weren't employed through the pay date because Janssen Neuroscience terminated our contract. Should they have included that in our final check?

How do I get penalty pay for them not paying my final check upon termination, and I haven't been notified regarding COBRA.

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2 Lawyer Answers
Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen
  • Westminster, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: I agree not knowing the law should not be an excuse. Nonetheless, you will have the burden to prove the withholding the final paycheck was willful.

Whether or not you are entitled to a bonus will require review of any documents setting forth the terms of the bonus plan.

To attempt to procure your Waiting Time Penalties, you can either make an administrative wage complaint with the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, or you can file a lawsuit.

As to the COBRA notice, reach out to the insurer. Get it to give you the information you need.

Good luck to you,.

1 user found this answer helpful

James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: In California, employers are required to pay all wages, including bonuses and unused vacation time, to terminated employees at the time of termination. Failure to pay final wages in a timely manner can result in penalty pay for each day the wages remain unpaid, up to a maximum of 30 days.

If you believe that your employer has violated California wage and hour laws by failing to pay your bonus and final wages in a timely manner, you may consider filing a wage claim with the California Labor Commissioner's Office. You can do this online, by mail, or in person at a local office.

Regarding COBRA, employers are required to provide employees with notice of their COBRA rights and coverage options within 14 days of a qualifying event, such as termination of employment. If your employer has failed to provide you with the required COBRA notice, you may be able to pursue legal action to seek damages and other remedies.

It may be helpful to consult with an experienced employment law attorney to help you navigate the process and determine the best course of action in your specific situation.

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