Oceanside, CA asked in Employment Discrimination and Sexual Harassment for California

Q: I need to know how to get my last check from my previous employer. And if I have a sexual harassment case.

He asked me if he could be my sugar daddy and when I said no he started to get disrespectful and we started arguing all the time. He fired me last Thursday and is refusing to give me my check when he I’m assuming should have given it to me by law Friday?

3 Lawyer Answers
Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen
Answered
  • Employment Law Lawyer
  • Westminster, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: When you are fired, you must be provided with a final check reflecting all of your wages owed plus any accrued vacation pay that same day. A willful failure to do so mean you are entitled to Waiting Time Penalties equal to one day of pay for each day you are made to wait for that final check, up to a total of thirty additional days of pay.

The comment you posted about and the reaction to your refusal to play along is likely a meritorious case of sexual harassment and unlawful retaliation if you can prove it.

It would be wise at this point 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 cost consultation in the beginning and then, if the matter has merit and value, will usually agree to 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.

William John Light and Louis George Fazzi agree with this answer

William John Light
William John Light
Answered
  • Riverside, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Sounds like a good claim both for retaliation and for failure to pay wages as required by law. The real strength of it depends on the resources of the Defendant to pay.

Louis George Fazzi
Louis George Fazzi
Answered
  • Employment Law Lawyer
  • Jess Ranch, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: I'll chip in because there are two things you can do immediately to protect your rights and get your pay.

First, go to the Labor Commissioner's website and file a claim online for help getting your last paycheck. You can do this on your own, and you should to preserve your rights. Here's the website which you can cut and paste into your browser: https://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/HowToFileWageClaim.htm

The second thing you should do as soon as is possible is to file a claim for sexual harassment with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). Here's their website: https://www.dfeh.ca.gov/ You can copy and paste the link into your browser, which will take you to the home page. After you get there, scroll down until you see the box for Employment Discrimination, and click on that box. That will take you to the page on their website where you can scroll down until you see FAQ: Sexual Harassment. You should read that and it will show you how to file your own complaint online.

You should also follow the advice Mr. Pedersen gave you, and find a good lawyer to assist you through this process. There are many really good lawyers out there, of all genders, ready and willing to help you. And if you file your claim within the first 300 days after your termination, the law gives you the right to recover all your attorney's fees from the harasser and his employer. So that becomes a very important step to take at the very beginning.

One more thing. Write up your story while it is fresh in your mind. Name all the witnesses, and save all your documents. Tell your story as you would to your best friend. Start at the beginning of the job you had, right up to the last day you worked. Cover all the basic details, and describe with your greatest ability what happened, what was said to you and what you said and did in response, how you felt and reacted and who you told about this. Then focus on the impact this had on you, financially and mentally and emotionally. Doing this will help you remember the events as time goes on. And it helps to get this all out. Just do your best and save all your documents and records to turn over copies to the lawyer you find to help you.

Good luck.

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