San Francisco, CA asked in Employment Law for California

Q: Are they allowed to do that? Can they dock him for days just in case he didn't come in? How am I suppose to pay my bills

My dad works for the Veterans Home in California and he got sick last month around the middle of the month and missed about 4 or 5 days because he was pretty sick. He went back to work and at the end of the month when he got his paycheck they had docked him for like 8 days even though he only missed 4 or 5. They told him that they docked him all those days just in case he didn't make it in those days. Even though he did go to work. It's now almost the next payday and they still haven't made up what they didn't pay him. Can they do that?

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2 Lawyer Answers
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: Under California law, employers are generally required to pay employees for all hours worked. If your dad has legitimately worked those days and was not paid, that could be a violation of wage and hour laws. Moreover, preemptively docking pay for days an employee might not come in, even if they do, is not lawful. If your dad believes his wages have been improperly withheld, he may consider filing a wage claim with the California Department of Industrial Relations, Division of Labor Standards Enforcement. It might also be prudent to keep documentation of days worked and any communications with the employer about this issue. Consulting with a local employment attorney can provide more specific guidance tailored to his situation.

Brad S Kane
Brad S Kane
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: No. Your father's employer must pay him for all time worked. Your father should put his concerns about his unpaid wages in writing to HR and include documentation, if possible. This will help protect your father from retaliation.

Further, if the employer does not straighten on your father's pay promptly, he should consult a lawyer about whether the employer is subject to penalties for the late payments as the employer appears to be a state government entity, which are often exempt from rules applying to private employers.

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