Leaving a job can be difficult, regardless of the circumstances. You leave behind friendships and relationships that you have formed. You are no longer able to use resources and support from the company to grow in your career, and you must start over in an entirely new place. The transition can be particularly difficult if you do not receive the pay you are entitled to when you leave. An employer may deduct too much from your final paycheck, not include some of the pay you deserve, or refuse to give you the paycheck entirely. If you are dealing with a final paycheck dispute, the expert attorneys at Canlas Law Group can help.
California has a very solid employee payment protection system in place. There are strict guidelines for every aspect of the payment process, from payment schedules to termination pay. One of the most regulated aspects of paying employees is the payday schedule. In most cases, California employees can be paid twice each month, with specific dates provided by state law. To protect employees as much as possible, California places strict limits on when paychecks can be distributed, what information must be included with each paycheck, and how final paychecks must be handled.
The terms of when a final paycheck can be provided are fairly uniform across the board. Employees who are terminated or do not make the choice to leave their position must be given their final paycheck on their last day of employment. Similarly, employees who choose to leave and provide proper notice to the company are to be given their final paycheck on their last day of employment. If, however, an employee leaves the company without providing notice, they will also receive their final paycheck within 72 hours of their last day of employment. There are also clear guidelines for what must be included in a final paycheck.
When an employee in California receives their final paycheck, there are certain things that must be included beyond the wages for their work during the last pay period. Employers are also required to reimburse the departing employee for:
If each of these things is included in the final paycheck, then the relationship between the company and the employee is officially ended. There are some instances, however, when a business may attempt to discriminate and keep necessary funds from a final paycheck.
There are very few things that can be withheld from a final paycheck, according to California law. The standard deductions for state tax, federal tax, and any court-mandated payments like child support can be withheld from a final paycheck. Compensation for stolen money or property can also be withheld from a final paycheck, so long as the damage or loss was a direct result of the employee’s actions. Otherwise, there can be no other deductions made from the final paycheck. If an employer attempts to tamper with or withhold a final paycheck, they may face a penalty. One of these penalties may be a requirement to pay you a full day’s wages for each day that your paycheck is late.
According to California law, employees who have left a company of their own free will or have been terminated are entitled to their final paycheck. This can be paid almost immediately after their time at the job ends. If you do not give notice that you are leaving your job, then you can expect your final paycheck within 72 hours. If you have given proper notice that you will be ending your employment, then your final paycheck should be paid at the time you leave.
The requirement for a final paycheck is that the employee be given all wages that they are owed. This goes beyond just paying for the time that you have worked. In fact, there are several things that should be included in your final paycheck. You will receive pay for the time you worked during your final pay period. You should also receive the value of any time off, vacation, or sick days and reimbursement for any business expenses.
There have been several key adjustments made to labor laws in California for 2023. One of the most significant is a change to the minimum wage. As of January 1, the minimum wage for large employers is $15.00 an hour, and for small employers, it is $14.00 an hour. There have also been new protections put in place to shield warehouse workers from dangerous quotas and provide necessary overtime for agricultural workers. The Garment Worker Protection Act ensures proper pay for garment workers and makes adjustments to certain practices. Finally, workers in certain industries will have priority hiring if they were terminated due to the pandemic.
There are very few deductions that an employer can make on a final paycheck in California. The standard deductions, such as state taxes, federal taxes, and any court-appointed payments like child support, can be deducted the way they would from a typical paycheck. Other deductions can only be taken if an employee stole money or equipment, or if an employee damaged or lost money or equipment because of their negligence.
When you leave a job, whether you were terminated or made the decision to leave yourself, you are entitled to proper compensation. Employers are not allowed to deduct from your final paycheck without reason, and they cannot withhold your final paycheck entirely. If you are facing discrimination related to your final paycheck, the team at Canlas Law Group can help. Contact us today to ensure you receive the final payment that you are entitled to.