Corona, CA asked in Business Law for California

Q: What is the law about paying someone their final paycheck when they resign? I am in California

I resigned from my job at UCSD after 11 years, last day was 10/7. I am being told I will not get my final paycheck until 10/27 which will include my PTO payout. I thought the law was they have to pay you out immediately. I called HR and was told they don’t follow that rule, is that legal? If it’s not legal then I would assume this could be a class action lawsuit.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Julie King
Julie King
  • Monterey, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: No, it is not legal. If an employee doesn’t have a written employment contract for a certain period of time (i.e., a one year term) and voluntarily quits her job:

(1) If the employee gave at least 72 hours’ prior notice of that she will be quitting, the employee must be paid her final wages on her last day of employment.

(2) If the employee gave less than 72 hours’ prior notice, the final wages are due 72 hours after notice of the resignation was provided.

There are other rules if you receive commissions because those are based on the terms of the document you would have signed relating to your commission plan.

As to your question about suing, that depends. If you want to spend a year of your life in court proceedings dealing with this issue, then feel free to contact a class action litigation attorney. Many people would choose to get their money plus penalties owed, then move on with their lives than to give testimony under oath, answer written questions (interrogatories) and all the other work that is involved in lawsuits. But the choice is yours! Best wishes.

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