Employers must provide the employees with their final wages in a timely manner. It doesn’t matter whether the employer has terminated the employee, laid off or the employee has resigned voluntarily. The final wages must be paid in full and on time. If not so, then the employee can seek a penalty in addition to the wages owed. In addition to that, the employee can also recover other costs like the attorney’s fees if he/she prevails in an action for unpaid wages. The below points can be considered as a guide to getting your final paycheck in California.
Final Payment and Termination
When the employer lays off or terminates an employee, the employer must immediately pay the employee all his earned and unpaid wages. It must be done on the same day and at the place of discharge.
Final Payment and Resignation
When an employee quits his job without notice, then the employer must provide his final wages within 3 days of resignation. But if the employee provides notice well in advance (72 hours or more), then the employee must be paid on his is last work day and the payment must be made at the employer’s office. If the payment must be sent by mail, then it needs the employee’s consent.
More About Final Wages
All regular wages and overtime wages, and payment for unused as well as accrued vacation time are considered as part of the final wages. If the final payments are paid late or incomplete, penalty needs to be paid by the employer. The waiting time penalty would accrue on weekend days too and the employer needs to pay a day of pay for each day the employee has not been fully paid. The pay must be as per the employee’s regular rate of pay.
In case the employer hasn’t made the payment (unpaid wages and penalty), then the employee can bring it before the labor commission or in the court. Say, for example, if the employer has paid the final paycheck but has not included overtime wages, the penalty for such exclusion begins to accrue from the date of termination.