What Final Wages Am I Owed When I Quit or I Am Fired?

Earnings Statement

A common wage dispute that arises between an employee and his or her employer at the time that the employee either quits or is fired is what are the final wages the employee should be paid.  In addition, when is the employer required to pay the final wages.

WHEN AM I ENTITLED TO MY FINAL PAYCHECK?

The timing of when you should receive your last paycheck depends on whether you quit or are fired.  When you are terminated from your position, your employer is required to provide you with your final paycheck at the time of your termination.  See Labor Code Section 201.

If you quit your job without giving any prior notice and you do not have a written employment contract, then your employer has seventy-two (72) hours to pay all wages owed to you.  See Labor Code Section 202(a).  The final check can be mailed to your residence if you so desire and you provide your employer with the address.

If you provide your employer with at least seventy-two (72) hours notice that you intend to quit your job, then your employer is required to provide you with your final paycheck on your last day of work.  See Labor Code Section 202(a).

WHAT WAGES AM I ENTITLED TO ON MY LAST PAYCHECK?

Regardless if you quit your position or if you are terminated, the wages you are entitled to when you leave your employment is the same.  Specifically, when you leave your employment, you are entitled to all wages worked, including all overtime hours.  In addition, you are entitled to payment of all accrued and unused vacation time.

The wages must be paid to you by check.  If you had direct deposit with your employer, the direct deposit ends on your last day of employment.  Furthermore, your final paycheck can be deposited only if you authorize your employer to directly deposit your final paycheck.

WHAT IF I AM NOT TIMELY GIVEN MY FINAL PAYCHECK?

If you are not paid all your wages when you quit or are terminated, you may be entitled to waiting time penalties as prescribed by law.  Namely, if it is determined that the employer willfully withheld wages owed to you, you may be able to obtain waiting time penalties in an amount equal to your daily rate of pay for each day the wages remain unpaid, up to a maximum of thirty (30) calendar days.

However, if there is a good faith dispute as to the amount of final wages owed to you, then waiting time penalties will not be assessed.  Also, if you refuse to accept your final check from your employer, then you will not be awarded waiting time penalties.

If you have any further questions, please contact an attorney at The Rinka Law Firm, PC at 310-556-9653.

Ratings and Reviews

9.1Stephen Morton Rinka
Stephen Morton RinkaReviewsout of 1 review