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Final paycheck laws in California are strict

On Behalf of | Apr 8, 2024 | Wage And Hour Claims |

California has many laws designed to protect employees. These laws address everything from breaks and lunch periods to overtime pay and minimum wage. Another issue that’s covered by state law is final paychecks. As part of a worker’s final paycheck, the employer has to pay for any non-income-based compensation, such as paid time off, that the employee is due.

The law helps to ensure that employees receive their final paycheck in a timely manner. What’s considered timely is determined by the situation that surrounds a worker’s change in employment status.

Final paycheck upon termination

When an employee is fired or laid off, California law requires that they receive their final paycheck immediately at the time of termination. This final paycheck must include all wages earned until the termination date. This includes accrued but unused vacation or paid time off (PTO).

Final paycheck upon resignation with notice

If an employee resigns and provides at least 72 hours of notice, California law mandates that their final paycheck be provided on their last day of employment. Like termination, this paycheck must encompass all earned wages and accrued vacation or PTO. The quick turnaround ensures that employees who leave on good terms are not left waiting for their earned wages.

Final paycheck without notice

When an employee resigns without giving the required 72-hour notice, the employer has 72 hours from the time of resignation to provide the final paycheck. It doesn’t matter if the employee walks off in the middle of a shift or doesn’t show up for work. The law recognizes that the employer may need additional time to calculate and process the final wages.

If an employee isn’t paid their final wages as required by law, they can take legal action and the offending employer may face penalties. Working with a legal representative may be beneficial, so that a worker can receive support as they seek what they’re due. If there are questions about the circumstances surrounding the end of an employer-employee relationship, the legal representative may also evaluate the case for the possibility of a wrongful termination.

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