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Glass Buildings
For many employees, a substantial portion of their wages is paid in the form of future or “deferred” compensation. There are many different types of deferred compensation:

  • Stock options

  • Unvested stock awards

  • Future bonus payments

  • Profit-sharing plans

  • Pension and retirement benefits

  • Vacation pay

Unfortunately, deferred compensation often comes with a "catch." For example, the employer might insist that, as a condition of receiving deferred compensation, the employee must never work for a competitor of the employer. This is illegal under California law. Or, the employer might claim that an employee is not entitled a bonus or profit-sharing payment unless the employee is employed on the last day of the year. This also may be illegal.

With regard to vacation pay, "use-it-or-lose-it" vacation pay policies have been illegal in California for more than 30 years. However, some employers still make the mistake of canceling or forfeiting an employee’s vacation time if the employee does not use it by the end of the year.

If your deferred compensation benefits were cancelled or forfeited for any reason, please contact attorney Marita Lauinger at

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