Anaheim, CA asked in Employment Law for California

Q: What can I do about getting fired and not getting payed?

I got payed last on June 19th which is everyone’s payday (every 2 weeks) I have direct deposit. I got fired the 27th and so I thought I would get my last paycheck on payday, but I didn’t. That was suppose to be on the July 3rd. It’s July 17 and still nothing. Also when I got fired, the general manager didn’t even talk to me. He just took me out of the employees group chat and I asked a manager that I was friends with and he said I think your suspended, the following day I texted him again and he said I’m fired because of the Corp complaint , when the complaint wasn’t even my fault, they never let me explain myself or ask me about it. What I think was bad was that I never got fired directly by the general manager!

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2 Lawyer Answers
Yitz Erik Weiss
Yitz Erik Weiss
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Under California law your employer is generally required to pay your final wages at the time of your termination. If they failed to do so, you may recover the unpaid wages plus you may be eligible to recover a penalty in the amount of your daily earnings for up to 30 days.

You should consider consulting with an experienced employment lawyer to further evaluate your potential claims.

Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen
Answered
  • Irvine, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Sorry to hear you lost your job.

Unfortunately, you are considered to be an at will employee unless you had an agreement to the contrary with your employer. That means you can be fired at any time and for any reason or even no reason at all. You are not legally entitled to be given fair notice, or a right to tell your side of the story. Nor are you entitled to direct notice from your boss. They can fire you by carrier pigeon if they want to.

However, when you are terminated, you are required to be paid on the day you are terminated. You should have received, that day, all pay you earned to that point and any vacation pay that you accrued to that point.

A willful failure to pay you on time means you have the right to Waiting Time Penalties equal to one day of pay for each day you are made to wait, up to a total of thirty additional days of pay.

To get your pay and penalties, you have options about how to proceed. You can try to demand it from the employer yourself, you can hire an attorney to write a demand letter, you can file an administrative wage claim with the Labor Commissioner's Office, or you can file a lawsuit. Each of these approaches have pros and cons. Your best move right now is to locate and consult with an experienced employment law attorney as soon as possible to explore your facts and determine your options. I would suggest you look either on this site, or go to www.cela.org, the home page for the California Employment Lawyers Association, an organization whose members are dedicated to the representation of employees against their employers.

Most employment attorneys who practice this area of law offer a free or low-charge consultation and then if the matter has merit and sufficient value, they work on a contingency basis, meaning you can hire an attorney without paying any money until the matter results in a positive outcome for you. Many advance all the costs of the litigation as well. Do not let fear of fees and costs keep you from finding a good attorney.

Good luck to you.

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