Many California employers obey the California labor laws. Unfortunately, some don’t. One of the top ways dishonest employers steal time and money from their workers is not paying final wages or paying final wages late.
In California, when a worker is laid off or terminated, the employer must immediately pay the worker all money owed including all accrued, unused vacation hours.* Some employers refuse to pay any wages at termination or they don’t pay all wages owed, such as unused vacation hours. Other employers don’t want the hassle of cutting an extra check, so they don’t pay all wages owed until the next payday. Both practices are illegal. The penalty for late payment of wages is 8 hours of additional pay to the worker for each day final pay is late up to 30 days. A worker making $15 an hour whose final pay is 30 days or more late would be owed the unpaid wages plus $3600 in penalties.
If you have not received your final wages or you received them late, you should contact an experienced labor and employment attorney to determine your rights. The Law Offices of G. Samuel Cleaver has litigated multiple late wage payment cases and offers free initial consultations.
(*There are exceptions to these rules for a small number of employees mainly in the entertainment and fashion industries.)