I have a hearing with my former employer in a few weeks in front of the California Labor Commissioner regarding Commissions owed

Asked over 1 year ago - Los Angeles, CA

I have emails that I printed out while working at the company that prove against their defense of them claiming I was overpaid and mislead the accountant into over paying me when the CFO (Wife/Owner) was the one who paid the commission report. Is it legal for me to have these emails and use them against them? Should I just subpoena them instead to be safe? They were claiming I misappropriated their trade secrets but after I had a lawyer write them a response letter they disappeared months ago and never proceeded on that claim. In my severance agreement, it states that I affirmed I would return all company property, however, they breached this agreement by not paying the last months commission that they owe me as part of the severance package for the labor that I did.

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Neil Pedersen

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Many of the issues you raise are not within the purview of the Labor Commissioner's Office. The only issue will be whether you are owed the commissions. As to the emails, I would use them. You should not be expected to dispose of any proof of your right to commissions. If the emails had other information vital to the company like formulas, customer lists and the like, it would be very different.

    Good luck to you.

    This answer should not be construed to create any attorney-client relationship. Such a relationship can be formed... more
  2. Juan Manuel Armenta

    Contributor Level 12


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Since the emails were authroied by your employer you are entitled to use them against their claims, without question. You have no need to subpeona them at all. The Labor Commissioner will not be interested in anything but whether you were paid. Trade secrets (customer lists) will be of no interest to the issues of whehter you were paid what you earned.

    This site is informational only and creates no attorney client relationship or a reasonable expecation of accuracy... more
  3. Brett A. Borah

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . I agree with mycolleague.

Related Topics

Trade secrets and small businesses

A trade secret is an idea, process, or formula that gives the owner a competitive edge, and certain laws protect them from becoming public.


Employment law governs employee pay, non-discrimination policies, employment classifications, and hiring and firing at the federal, state, and local levels.

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