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California Labor Law: Get Your Last Check on Time

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Sacramento, CA: "When my boss fired me I asked for my last two paychecks," says Ben J. His boss told him that the checks would be directly deposited to his bank account, but Ben knew something about the California Labor Law. "I told him that is a violation of the state labor law and I am to be paid immediately upon termination, with no waiting period."

I you are fired in the state of California, your final paycheck(s) must be issued at the time of termination—that same day. Depending upon the company, you may be asked to pick up your check at HR or payroll, but your final check, including accrued vacation, has to be given to you on the last day you work. (The company doesn't have to include sick leave unless specified in its policy and procedures.)

Last PaycheckIf the company does not meet the above criteria, you can call the California Department of Labor and file a complaint, which is exactly what Ben did next.

"I turned in my laptop, the only piece of equipment that was theirs," says Ben. "Then I came home and called the labor board. I filled out their form and contacted the company's main office in Virginia. HR said my check would go out via UPS the next day—Saturday.
I waited all day Saturday—no check.
On Monday morning I called corporate office and explained that, by law, I need my check. It was three weeks pay. The woman in HR at corporate office told me that my checks were delayed due to a snow storm in Kentucky and UPS had sent it to Taiwan.
My name is Ben Smith, not Quan Lee. How could they make such a mistake send it to Taiwan?

I told her that I had contacted the California labor board. She called the labor board and they told her that indeed, I was correct under California law. On Tuesday, I had to go back to the office, where I was fired, to get my check.

When you do business in California, you'd better know all the labor laws. This woman at corporate office had no idea until she phoned the labor board.

As for my termination, I never had a chance to make this job work. And they'd better not say anything bad about me. They are definitely not included on my resume. Because of the way this company treated me, I'm not going away quietly. Now they are being investigated by the labor board about my pay check, they may think twice before they screw someone else around."

READER COMMENTS

Posted by
Duped
on
I worked for 8 days straight at a private rehab they said labor laws don't apply to them they are private . The day before I was to work again they said I didn't need to come in . I said ok . Then they said there wasn't room in the schedule for me at this time . I asked about my check and they said they would mail it . Now I hear from other employees that they don't get paid at all ! What should I do the place is in Malibu California

Posted by
jess sanchez
on
I was terminated after only one of work, was not given specific reason for dismissal,also they have held my check until keys at building were janitorial duties were being conducted, notify company that keys are in building. can they legally .hold my wages until keys are found

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