Yes, your employer owes you your commissions once they’re earned
When you’re terminated from a position that you earn commissions from in California, you should be cautious to make sure you get those commissions that you are owed. California does have strict laws that cover what happens if you are fired or leave your position, including what happens with your final paycheck, bonuses and commissions.
To start with, you probably know that your pay can come no longer than seven days after the end of the pay period. Most pay periods in California happen at least twice per month. Overtime is paid with the next payroll after you earned it, and if you’re terminated, you need to be paid immediately at the time of the termination.
If you’re owed compensation, make sure you get it before you walk out the door
California’s Labor Code Sections 201 and 227.3 state that employees who are discharged should receive their accrued vacation and wages immediately at the time of the termination.
If you are owed commissions, there are also special requirements. If you earned the commissions on or before the day you were let go from your job, then the employer has the responsibility of calculating your commissions and paying them out to you on the date of the termination if you quit or are terminated with more than 72 hours of notice. If there is not at least 72 hours of notice, then the employer must pay you out within 72 hours.
It is not acceptable for employers to wait until the customary time for calculating those commissions to pay you. Delaying payment until the next payday is also unacceptable.
In the case that the commission is based on a task that has not yet been completed, such as the processing of paperwork, then you should be paid that commission immediately upon completion of that condition.
If your employer fails to pay you the commission that you’re owed, it’s important to contact them. Then, if you have no positive response, reach out to your attorney and the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, so you can find out why you are not receiving the funds that you should be getting.