Lafayette, CA asked in Employment Law for California

Q: Unable to provide two weeks notice.

I signed an offer letter with termination policy requiring two weeks of notice. Due to some unseen circumstances, I could only provide ten days of notice. I also offered to work on the weekends to help the situation. The employer now threatens me to cut a month's wages if I do not work during two week's notice period. There has been no mention of specific penalties in the offer letter. The client and I are based in California but, the middle layer employer is based out of Ohio. My questions is that if the offer letter is binding and if there are any legal options for me to take help of.

Related Topics:
2 Lawyer Answers
Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen
Answered
  • Westminster, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: It would be a violation of California law to take any money out of your final paycheck because the employer claims you have breached a notice provision. If the company does so it would be wise to immediately contact an employment attorney. Not only should you get all of the money back, but you would also be entitled to Waiting Time Penalties equal to one day of pay for each day you are made to wait for that money, up to a total of 30 additional days of pay.

Whether the employer is owed any money because you gave four less days notice that required will depend entirely on what kind of damages, if any, the employer could prove were caused by those four days. It is highly unlikely any damages could be proved based on such a short period of time. I suspect you are experiencing emotional threats, not the prospect of an actual legal claim.

The worst thing that will likely happen is you will not get a good employer reference for leaving without giving the full two week notice. If you are in any way penalized or a lawsuit is filed, be sure to get an attorney involved right away.

Good luck to you.

Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II
Answered
  • Newport Beach, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: One might think that having the employer steal your money to punish you would be the best thing that could happen because then you can get penalties such as 30 day's waiting time penalties and other penalties for violating the Labor Code. BUT, if the employer is in Ohio, collection could prove difficult. And the value of an additional month's wages is proportionate to the effort to get it into your pocket. Having said that, you need to do what you have to do, and if 10 day's notice is all you can do, that is it. This employer sounds like a big bully, and the Labor Commissioner will have your back in California, they don't stand for that kind of stuff. Keep all the written evidence in hard copy, emails, texts, etc. Consult with an employment attorney.

Justia disclaimers below, incorporated herein.

1 user found this answer helpful

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.