final paycheck employment law fired

When Is My (Ex)-Employer Required To Provide Me With My Final Paycheck?

California employment laws often favor protecting the rights of employees. A good example is through California’s laws pertaining to the rights of employees in receiving their final paychecks. When an employee leaves a job, California law requires the employer to pay that individual for all time worked, and within a fairly short period of time. How long an employer has to pay an employee’s final paycheck depends on whether the employee has voluntarily quit, or whether the employee has instead been fired.

  • I’ve Just Quit My Job. When Am I Entitled to My Final Paycheck?

The timeframe for which an employer is required to pay an employee who quits is determined by the amount of notice the employee has provided the employer prior to quitting. A good rule of thumb is to follow what can be described as the “72 Hour Rule.”

The 72 Hour Rule

Generally, an employee must allow his or her employer a full 72 hours to provide the employee with a final paycheck. To illustrate, an employee who gives his/her employer 2 weeks’ notice of their intention to quit, is entitled to receive their final paycheck on their last day of work (the last day of the 2-week period). This is because the employee has provided the employer with well over 72 hours of notice. In contrast, an employer has a full 72 hours after an employee’s final shift to provide the employee with his/her final paycheck, if the employee quit on the same day he/she provided notice to the employer.  

(See California Labor Code § 202).

  • I’ve Been Laid Off or Fired. When Am I Entitled to My Final Paycheck?

An employee who has been fired or laid off by an employer is entitled to receive his or her final paycheck immediately. This means that employers are required, by law, to provide employees with a final paycheck on the day the employee is terminated.

(See California Labor Code § 201).

What If My (Ex)-Employer Does Not Pay Me Within The Time Frames Discussed Above, and Instead Makes Me Wait Until The End Of The Payroll Period To Receive My Final Paycheck?

If your employer does not pay you within 72 hours of quitting, or immediately upon termination, your employer has violated California law. Therefore, any employer requiring an employee to wait until the end of a payroll period to receive a final paycheck is in direct violation of California’s final pay laws.

What Can I Do If My Employer Is Violating These Laws?

If your employer has not paid you a final paycheck in accordance with the above-mentioned California laws, you may be entitled to recover “waiting-time penalties.”

  • What Are Waiting-Time Penalties?

Waiting-Time Penalties are penalties an employee may recover from an employer for violating certain wage laws, such as the ones discussed above. According to the California Labor Code, an employee can recover from any employer who fails to pay any wages owed to the employee upon the employee quitting or being terminated. The penalty is calculated in the amount of the employee’s daily wage rate for each day the employee has not received their final paycheck, and can be collected against the employer for a maximum of 30 days.

(See California Labor Code § 203).

Have A Potential Case Regarding Your Employer’s Violation of California’s Final Pay Laws?

California’s final pay laws have a time limit as to how long you may have to bring a claim against your ex-employer. If you have recently quit or have been fired from your employment and have received your final paycheck late, or have not received your final paycheck in accordance with the laws discussed above, contact us today at 949-936-4001.

More often than not, employers violating California’s final pay laws are also violating other California wage laws, such as not allowing employees to take uninterrupted, duty-free, 30-minute meal breaks and 10-minute rest breaks. If you have any questions about California’s employment laws or if you believe your employer may be violating these laws, our office would love to help you.

Whitehead Employment Law is a premier firm with a wealth of legal talent dedicated to labor and employment law claims. We have both tried and settled cases that have won millions of dollars in awards for clients whose employers have failed to adhere to California labor and employment laws.

Contact us at Whitehead Employment Law today at 949-936-4001. Consultations are free and confidential.