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Job termination and your final paycheck: Things to know

When it comes to your professional life, there's nothing worse than learning that your employment is being terminated. As frustrating and disappointing as it may be, you should immediately turn your attention to protecting your legal rights.

In addition to severance, for which you may qualify, it's critical to understand your rights regarding receiving your final paycheck.

Your rights to receive a final paycheck, including when your employer must pay you, is based largely on whether you quit or your position was terminated.

For example, California has strict laws regarding when an employer must pay an employee after their final day of work. If the employee quit with at least 72 hours notice or was terminated, the employer is required to immediately issue a final paycheck

If an employee fails to give 72 hours notice, the employer has 72 hours to issue the final check. State laws are not always applicable if the employer and employee have a contractual agreement, e.g., the terms state that a final paycheck will be issued at a certain time.

If you were terminated for any reason or have decided to move on from your job, don't let your employer hold onto your final paycheck. This is money to which you're entitled, so don't give up until you receive what's owed to you.

In the event that your employer continues to delay payment, learn more about your legal rights and the steps you can take to secure your final paycheck. Armed with this knowledge, you can then move on from your job and look toward the future.

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