When you quit a job, things can get very bad, very quickly. Whether you were planning to quit or simply could not take it and impulsively quit, losing your primary source of income hits hard. It likely means that you will struggle or fail to pay rent, a car payment, car insurance, a phone bill, utilities, or credit cards bills. That is why your final paycheck from your employer is so important, because it is that last influx of money to tide you until you find another job. Fortunately, California has some of the most employee friendly laws when it comes to final pay. These laws establish strict and swift timeframes in which an employer must deliver a final pay check to an employee who quits.
Did the Employee Give Notice?
The speed with which an employee gets their final paycheck depends on whether they provided their employer at least 72 hours of notice of their resignation. The California Labor Code Section 202 provides "If an employee not having a written contract for a definite period quits his or her employment, his or her wages shall become due and payable not later than 72 hours thereafter, unless the employee has given 72 hours previous notice of his or her intention to quit, in which case the employee is entitled to his or her wages at the time of quitting."
An employee who gives 72 hours notice can pick their check up at the office where they worked. An employee who quits without this notice can request their final pay by mail at a mailing address they designate. The date of the mailing counts as the date of payment.
What is in the Final Paycheck?
California Labor Code Section 201 requires that an employee's final paycheck include all the wages they are due. This includes any accrued, but unused, vacation time; however, an employer is not obligated to pay for accrued sick leave.
What are the Penalties?
An employer's late payment of the final paycheck entitles the employee to their full, daily wage for every day the paycheck is late, up to a maximum of thirty days. These penalties do not apply if the employee is refusing or intentionally avoiding the paycheck. An employee is also entitled to seek legal action if the employee does not issue final pay in accordance with the Labor Code.
You Need a Lawyer
Even if you have quit your job, you have enforceable legal rights if your employer refuses to pay you in a timely manner. At Moss Bollinger, we understand how much your paycheck means to you, and have seen the many ways that employers deprive their employees of rights afforded to them under California law. Contact us and we can help determine whether you have a claim. We work on a contingency basis, so you pay nothing up front. Call us today at (800) 249-1175 for a free consultation or contact us online.