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In recent months, many people throughout California have lost their jobs or had work placed on hold. As the economy slowly restarts, some business owners might decide to permanently reduce their workforce or close their doors permanently. In addition, some people might decide they need to quit their jobs to stay home with children who no longer have childcare or to avoid risks of illness. 

No matter how your employment ends, it is important that you properly receive your final paycheck. California law has strict requirements for this, and employers who fail to provide final payment as required should be held accountable. Never hesitate to seek help from a California employment law attorney.

Final Paycheck Requirements in California 

Labor laws in California require employers to provide final pay as follows:

  • If someone is terminated, pay must be provided on the same day the employment was terminated
  • If someone quits, the employer has 72 hours to provide the final paycheck

The final paycheck must include wages for all time worked, reimbursement for business expenses, as well as the cash value of benefits, such as vacation time not taken. The above requirements apply even if a business is closing its doors.

What if You Do Not Receive Your Final Check?

The California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) takes the requirements for final pay very seriously. If you do not receive your pay on the day you were terminated or within 72 hours of quitting, you are entitled to penalties for your waiting time. The penalties equal one day’s worth of pay for each day your employer is late with your final paycheck. This is in addition to the wages, business expenses, and compensation for paid-time off that you already deserve. 

For example, an employee who earns $20 per hour and works eight hours a day would typically receive $160 for a day’s wages. The employer terminated the employee and did not provide the final paycheck for ten days. This means that the employee could recover their final pay, as well as ten days’ worth of wages ($1,600) for the waiting time penalty.

As you can see, these penalties add up quickly. The maximum penalty that an employer faces to an employee is 30 days of wages. The above employee’s penalties would cap out at $4,800 if the employer was a month late or later with the final paycheck. It is important that employees who are denied their final check in a timely manner have the right attorney who knows how to seek both their earned pay and the penalties they deserve. 

Contact a California Employment Law Attorney Right Away

When you lose (or quit) your job, you still have your housing payment, utilities, and other bills to worry about. Having your final paycheck in a timely manner is essential moving forward. The Mara Law Firm helps employees obtain the wages and penalties they deserve from their former employers. Call (619) 234-2833 or contact us online for a consultation today. 

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