If an employee is terminated by an out of state company, which state’s labor laws pertain?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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If an employee is terminated by an out of state company, which state’s labor laws pertain?

I was terminated from my commission sales position. I worked in California and my company was based in NY. They company took 4 months to fully pay my commissions with several mistakes along the way. I am demanding they pay the CA labor law 30 day penalty. They state the situation is governed by NY labor law but I believe it’s governed by CA labor law. Which is correct?

Asked on May 25, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Labor law is local: the labor laws of the jurisdiction (that is, the state) wherein the workplace was located apply, not the labor laws of the state of incorporation or the corporate headquarters. So in the case you describe, it would be CA law that governs; try speaking to the CA Dept. of Labor if you can't work it out with the employer--the DOL may be able to help you.

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