In California, you have the right to receive your final paycheck, in full and on time, after your employment contract ends. This means that if you are terminated, resign, or your contract expires, your employer is obligated to pay you for all the work you have performed, including unused vacation or other forms of compensation. If your employer fails to do so, they may be subject to a waiting time penalty.
Entitlement to extra pay
Under California law, if you are discharged or quit with at least 72-hour notice, you are entitled to receive your final paycheck on the same day as your termination or last day worked after providing notice. If your employer fails to comply with this law, they may be subject to penalties, including the waiting time penalty.
The waiting time penalty consists of one day’s wages for each day that the employer fails to pay your final paycheck, up to a maximum of thirty days. This means that if your employer fails to pay you for ten days after your termination, you are entitled to an additional ten days’ worth of wages as a penalty. This penalty is designed to compensate employees for the inconvenience and financial hardship that can result from not receiving their final wages in a timely manner.
Which “Wages” Are Due in Final Paychecks
California law prohibits employers from withholding or delaying the payment of wages to employees. Wages include all forms of compensation for work performed by employees, including salaries, hourly pay, commissions, bonuses, and unused vacation time. However, not all forms of compensation fall under the category of “wages” under California law.
Under California law, wages are defined as compensation for labor performed by an employee. Labor is defined as work that is physical or mental and primarily beneficial to the employer. This means that reimbursements, expenses, and other forms of compensation that do not constitute payment for labor are not considered wages under California law.
When Final Wages are Due
Under California law, your employer must pay you all your final wages at the time of your termination. This includes any unpaid vacation time or other benefits to which you are entitled. If your employer fails to pay you on time, they may be penalized.
If you resign, your employer must pay you all wages due, including unused vacation time, within 72 hours of your resignation. If you provide more than 72 hours notice, your employer must pay you on your last workday. If they fail to do so, Los Angeles employment lawyers could help you recover your wages plus the compensation you deserve.
Place and Method of Payment
Your employer must pay your final wages in cash, by check, or by direct deposit. If you prefer a different payment method, you can make a written request to your employer. If your employer fails to comply with your request, they may be subject to the waiting time penalty.
How Vacation Pay is Treated
If you have accrued vacation time at the time of your termination, your employer must pay you for that time as part of your final wages. For example, if you have one week of vacation time accrued, your employer must pay you for that week of work as part of your final paycheck.
The Waiting Time Penalty for Unpaid Final Wages
The penalty is one day’s pay for each day that the payment is delayed, up to a maximum of 30 days. For example, if your employer fails to pay you for five days, they may be subject to a penalty of five days’ pay.
If your employer has failed to pay you on time, hiring an employment lawyer will help you understand your rights and options. By working with experienced employment lawyers, you can help protect your rights and secure the compensation you deserve.