As an employer, navigating employment termination can be tricky, especially when it comes to final pay. Many states have specific laws that indicate when employees should give their final paychecks and penalties for employers who do not comply. Most of the time, the law is dependent upon whether the employee was fired, or if he or she quits. The state of California has some of the strictest laws in the nation on this matter. In this blog, our team at Hackler Flynn & Associates answers your most pressing questions on final pay rules in California:

When must employees receive their final paycheck?

The answer to this questions depends on the nature of the employee’s termination. Here are a few different situations:

  1. If the employee was FIRED: A worker who is fired must be given his or her final paycheck at the time of termination. As an employer, you can not require the employee to return to the workplace to pick up his or her final paycheck or make the employee wait for the paycheck.
  2. If the employee QUITS: If a worker quits and does not give any notice in advance, the employer must provide the final payment within 72 hours. However, if a worker quits and gives notice of at least 72 hours before his or her resignation, the employee must be provided the final paycheck immediately, on his or her last day. If the employee wishes to receive his or her last paycheck in the mail, then the employer must comply. Under California law, employers cannot require the employee to return work to collect his or her final pay after termination. However, the employer should not delay in mailing the final paycheck.  The date of mailing will be the date of payment for purposes of providing payment within 72 hours of the notice of quitting.

 What should be included in the final paycheck?

The final paycheck must include payment for all hours worked, including overtime and double-time pay, if any. It should also include payment for any accrued but unused paid time off or vacation hours. Employees are not entitled to payment for unused paid sick hours unless a written employment agreement states otherwise. Employers cannot withhold the final paycheck from the employee under any circumstance.

What are Waiting Time Penalties?

As an employer, it is important to follow these guidelines to avoid paying extra money to your terminated employees. Waiting time penalties is the amount of money the employer must pay for each day that the employee’s final payment is delayed. These penalties apply for up to 30 days after the termination.  The amount is equal to the employee’s previous average daily rate.

How can Hackler Flynn help you TODAY?

This article discusses what you need to know about final pay requirements.  However, as an employer, it can be hard to comply with these laws on such short notice. By consulting Hackler Flynn today, our team can provide more information, advice, and support to avoid potential scrutiny or legal issues that may arise during the process of terminating an employee. Contact our team to get quick, expert advice on all of your legal needs!

DISCLAIMER: Content on the website should not be considered legal advice and is for information purposes only. Communications made through the website do not create an attorney-client relationship. Hackler Flynn and Associates is not responsible for any content that you may access from third-party resources that may be accessed through or linked to this website.

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