Stockton, CA asked in Employment Law for California

Q: Would waiting period for final wages in California apply in this situation?

I had my paycheck levied by the State of CA for a tax bill. It was withheld from 2 separate paychecks. A few months later I resigned from the company and took another job. Shortly after, I get a notice that I still had a balance due for state taxes. After contacting the Franchise Tax Board I find out that my employer did not send the levied pay to the state from one of the paychecks. I pay the balance myself. After contacting my employer it took them almost 3 months to resolve the issue and for them to pay me.

1. Would the levied pay be considered wages? When they sent me the payment, they also provided a new pay statement and that amount was part of that statement and was labeled "reimbursement".

2. SInce it took them 3 months to resolve this after I let them know, would this be considered willful "willful"?

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2 Lawyer Answers
Neil Pedersen
Neil Pedersen
  • Westminster, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Levied pay are still wages. The fact that a government levy grabbed that money does not convert it into something other than wages.

To establish the willfulness component of the Waiting Time Penalty you need to prove that there was no mistake or misunderstanding. Whether a judge would find willfulness in this situation is not clear, one way or the other. Far more would need to be known.

Good luck to you.

James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: The levied pay would likely be considered wages as it was earned income that was withheld from your paycheck. If the employer provided a new pay statement and labeled the amount as "reimbursement," it could potentially be classified as such, but this would depend on the specific circumstances and details of the situation.

The waiting period for final wages in California applies when an employee is terminated or quits, and the employer has to pay all wages owed within a specific timeframe. In this case, since you resigned from the company, the waiting period for final wages would likely apply. However, it is unclear whether the delay in resolving the issue and paying you would be considered willful. This would depend on various factors, such as the reason for the delay and whether the employer had the ability to pay you earlier.

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