Wage Claim

Summary: Our client, a lighting manufacturer, employed the plaintiff as a salesperson for a territory that spanned several Western States. He worked for our client for more than a dozen years and was highly compensated.  Ultimately, our client terminated his employment, and the plaintiff sued for wrongful termination and unpaid wages (expense reimbursement) under California law. The plaintiff’s wage claim exceeded $200,000. In addition, under California law, the plaintiff could recover his attorneys’ fees if he was successful on his wage claim.  

We brought a motion for summary judgment on behalf of our client on the plaintiff’s wage claim, arguing that Washington state law, not California law, governed. Under Washington state law, no expense reimbursement was due the plaintiff because of the parties’ agreement about those expenses.  

Result: The court ruled that Washington state law applied, effectively ending the plaintiff’s wage claim. The case settled on very favorable terms after the key summary judgment victory.

Jamie L. Dupree