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What Employees Should Know About The California Final Paycheck Law

The California final paycheck law protects employees who are quitting or being terminated by an employer. Whether you are doing so by choice or you have been terminated, changing jobs can be challenging—even more so if you do not get your final paycheck on time. In California, workers are protected by some of the strongest wage and hour laws in the country.

Under California Labor Code § 203, employers must issue a final paycheck immediately. If they fail to do so, they will be subject to strict financial penalties. Here, our San Francisco wage and hour lawyers discuss key things to know regarding the California final paycheck law.

California Final Paycheck Law: Employers Must Pay All Wages Upon Termination or Resignation

California Labor Code § 203 sets strict deadlines for final paychecks. When an employer terminates an employee, their final paycheck is due immediately. It should be issued on the same day as the termination. If an employee quits or resigns without sufficient notice, the employer is granted a 72-hour grace period under California law —regardless of how abrupt the employee made their decision to leave.

To be clear, a final paycheck must include all remaining compensation owed to the employee. In effect, this means that accrued vacation time and/or paid time off (PTO) must be included with the final paycheck. If a California employer issues only a partial final paycheck, they will be subject to financial penalties.

An Overview of the Penalties for Violating California Final Paycheck Rules

If an employer violates CA Labor Code § 203, they will be assessed a daily financial penalty owed to the affected employee, for up to a maximum of thirty (30) days. The specific penalty varies based on the affected employee’s wages. Under California’s final paycheck law, an employee is owed their normal daily wages for each day payment is delayed in violation of the law.

For example, if an employee earns $45 per hour and works a set schedule of 40 hours per week, the employee will be owed $1,800 in financial penalties for each week their wage and hour rights are violated.

If your final paycheck was unlawfully delayed by your employer, it is imperative you take action to protect your rights under California law. As experienced San Francisco wage and hour claims attorneys, we can help you receive the full financial compensation you rightfully deserve.

Consult with Our San Francisco, CA Employment Lawyers Today

At Bracamontes & Vlasak, our California employment law attorneys have the skills and experience needed to handle all types of wage and hour claims. If your final paycheck in California was withheld or delayed, we are available to offer support. To set up a free, confidential initial consultation, please call us at 415-835-6777 or, contact us online. We represent employees in San Francisco and Oakland and throughout the surrounding communities in the Bay Area.

California final paycheck law