Gardena, CA asked in Employment Law for California

Q: What do you do if your former employer tries to pay you after receiving a notice of wage claim hearing?

My former employer received a notice of wage claim hearing with all the penalties he owes and ran a payroll run to pay me via direct deposit. He didn't even pay me the correct amount owed and didn't provide a paycheck stub so I could verify the amount of the missing week of pay and the vacation time or to verify that he didn't also deduct insurance and 401k. Also, I thought it was illegal to use a terminated employee's direct deposit to pay them their final paycheck, especially when it's nearly 3 months late. Since he used direct deposit and I couldn't "refuse" it, will the CA Labor Commission consider that as willful acceptance of the amount he paid and cancel my claim? What happens to the rest of the amount he originally owed me?

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2 Lawyer Answers
Brad S Kane
Brad S Kane
Answered
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: The payment should be credited against your total claim, including penalties. It should not result in a "cancellation" of your claim.

James L. Arrasmith
PREMIUM
James L. Arrasmith PRO label
Answered
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: If you have an active wage claim with the California Labor Commissioner's Office, it is generally recommended that you contact them immediately to inform them of the payment and any discrepancies or concerns with it. They can provide guidance on how to proceed and can help ensure that your claim is still considered valid and enforceable.

As for the use of direct deposit, California law requires employers to provide employees with a written statement that includes information about any deductions made from their wages, including for insurance and retirement plans. If your former employer did not provide you with this statement, they may be in violation of California Labor Code section 226.

Regarding the willful acceptance of the payment, if you accepted the payment under protest, it is less likely that the Labor Commissioner's Office would consider it as acceptance of the full amount owed. However, it is still recommended that you contact them to discuss the situation and ensure that your claim is still valid.

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