Final Paycheck Requirement

Although federal law does not require employers to give former employees a paycheck immediately upon ceasing employment, California law does have such a requirement. In California’s Final Paycheck Law

The California Labor Code has specific time requirements that govern the payment of an employee’s final check.

If an employer fires or lays off an employee, then the employer must pay that employee all of his or her wages immediately upon termination. This final paycheck must include not only wages, but also any accrued vacation. If immediate payment is required, then the employer must pay the employee at the place of termination. In general, the immediate paycheck requirement applies to almost all employees who are fired or laid off, but there here are some limited exceptions to for certain occupations, including, but not limited to: seasonal workers, employed in the curing, canning, or drying of perishable fruit, fish, or vegetables; certain motion picture employees, and employees engaged in the business of drilling.

If an employee voluntarily quits her job without prior notice, then the employer need not pay immediately. Instead, the employer must pay that employee’s final paycheck within 72 hours after the employee quit. In this case, the employee may either request that the employer mail the final paycheck to a designated address. If the employee does not request mailing, then the employer pays the employee at the employer’s office.

If an employee, who provided at least 72 hours notice, voluntarily quits her job, then the employer must pay that employee’s wages on the employee’s last day of work.

If there is a reasonable dispute about how the amount of the employee’s final paycheck, then the employer may delay payment until the dispute is resolved. But employers may not abuse this; only a “good faith” dispute is a basis to delay payment.

Penalties for Failure to Pay

Employers who willfully fail or delay to pay a former employee’s final paycheck face strict consequences. Each day that the employer fails to pay the employee’s final wages, counts as an additional day’s wages; this penalty counts for up to 30 days. In other words, if an employer pays a final paycheck 10 days late, then that employer has to pay the employee for ten additional days of labor as well as the final paycheck and accrued vacation.

A California Wage and Employment Attorney Can Help

If you have been laid off, fired, or quit your employment and your employer made you wait too long for your final paycheck, you are not without recourse. You may be entitled to collect additional wages for each day that your employer delayed payment. The skilled attorneys at Nassiri Law Group, practicing in Orange County, Los Angeles, and Riverside have the knowledge you need to attain your rightful compensation. Call today for a free case consultation at 714-937-2020.