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Q: California Final Paycheck Complaint ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: California Final Paycheck Complaint
Category: Business and Money > Employment
Asked by: kimmbel-ga
List Price: $7.00
Posted: 31 Dec 2004 20:39 PST
Expires: 30 Jan 2005 20:39 PST
Question ID: 449897
My girlfriend quit her job 2.5 months ago.  It took them 2 months to
finally mail her final paycheck to her.  As I understand the law she
is eligable to receive 30 days of compensation since it took them so
long to send it to her.  My question is:
How long does she have to file a complaint?
Is there a way to file a complaint without using an attorney?
Subject: Re: California Final Paycheck Complaint
Answered By: googlenut-ga on 31 Dec 2004 22:20 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello kimmbel-ga,

Based on the scenario that you have described, it does appear that
your girlfriend?s former employer would be required by California law
to pay her 30 days of pay.  She should have received her final wages
within 72 hours of quitting.  The employer is required to pay a
waiting time penalty of her daily rate of pay for each day the wages
remained unpaid, up to a maximum of thirty calendar days.  She has at
least 2 years to file a complaint, possibly more depending on her
specific situation.  An attorney does not appear to be required,
although she does have the option of using one.  The first step would
be to file a Wage Claim with the California Division of Labor
Standards Enforcement.

Please note, answers provided on Google Answers are general
information, and are not intended to substitute for informed
professional legal, advice.  See the disclaimer at the bottom of the


California Department of Industrial Relations
Division of Labor Standards Enforcement 
Paydays, pay periods, and the final wages
?An employee without a written employment contract for a definite
period of time who quits without giving 72 hours prior notice must be
paid all of his or her wages, including accrued vacation, within 72
hours of quitting. An employee who quits without giving 72-hours prior
notice may request that his or her final wage payment be mailed to a
designated address. The date of mailing will be considered the date of
payment for purposes of the requirement to provide payment within 72
hours of the time of quitting. Labor Code Section 202


An employer who willfully fails to pay any wages due a terminated
employee (discharge or quit) in the prescribed time frame may be
assessed a waiting time penalty. The waiting time penalty is an amount
equal to the employee?s daily rate of pay for each day the wages
remain unpaid, up to a maximum of thirty (30) calendar days. Mamika v.
Barca (1998) 68 Cal.App4th 487 An employee will not be awarded waiting
time penalties if he or she avoids or refuses to receive payment of
the wages due. If a good faith dispute exists concerning the amount of
the wages due, no waiting time penalties would be imposed. A "good
faith dispute" that any wages are due occurs when an employer presents
a defense, based in law or fact which, if successful, would preclude
any recovery on the part of the employee. The fact that a defense is
ultimately unsuccessful will not preclude a finding that a good faith
dispute did exist. However, a defense that is unsupported by any
evidence, is unreasonable, or is presented in bad faith, will preclude
a finding of a "good faith dispute". Labor Code Section 203 and Title
8, California Code of Regulations, Section 13520

Even if there is a dispute, the employer must pay, without requiring a
release, whatever wages are due and not in dispute. If the employer
fails to pay what is undisputed, the "good faith" defense will be
defeated whatever the outcome of the disputed wages. Labor Code
Section 206?


A link to the wage claim form can be found at the upper right of the
following page:

California Department of Industrial Relations
Work It Out
Paydays, pay periods, final paycheck

A direct link to the wage claim form in PDF format is below:

State Of California - Department Of Industrial Relations
Division Of Labor Standards Enforcement
State Labor Commissioner
Initial Report Or Claim


California Department of Industrial Relations
Division of Labor Standards Enforcement
How to file a wage claim
?What is a wage claim?
An employee or former employee may file an INDIVIDUAL wage claim to recover:

Unpaid wages, including commissions and bonuses. 
Wages paid by check issued with insufficient funds. 
Final paycheck not received. 
Unused vacation hours that were not paid upon termination of the
employment relationship, e.g., a quit, discharge, or layoff.
Unauthorized deductions from paychecks. 
Unpaid/non-reimbursed business expenses. 
Failure to provide a meal and/or rest period in accordance with the
applicable Industrial Welfare Commission Order.

What is the time period for filing a wage claim?

A claim based on an oral agreement must be filed within two years from
the date the claim arose.
A claim based on a written agreement must be filed within four years
from the date the claim arose.
A claim for minimum wage, unpaid overtime, and other statutory claims
must be filed within three years from the date the claim arose.?



An employee (plaintiff) alleging the non-payment of wages or other
compensation by his or her employer (defendant), must file a claim
with a local office of DLSE to initiate investigation of the claim by
the Labor Commissioner. The statute of limitations on claims is either
two (2), three (3) or four (4) years from the date of the alleged
non-payment, depending on the underlying employment agreement or the
type of claim. Plaintiffs are advised to file a claim as soon as
possible after the alleged non-payment.

When filing the claim, the plaintiff should provide as much
information and documentation as possible, including the legal name,
location, and status (method of doing business, i.e. sole
proprietorship, partnership, corporation) of the defendant.

After the claim is assigned to a Deputy Labor Commissioner (deputy),
he or she will determine, based on the circumstances of the claim, how
best to proceed. Within thirty (30) days of the filing of the
complaint, the deputy shall notify the parties as to the specific
action which will initially be taken regarding the claim:

referral to a conference

referral to a hearing

dismissal of the claim

Not all cases will go to a conference before going to a hearing.
Moreover, many cases will be resolved informally before either a
conference or a hearing is scheduled.?


Each party has the following basic rights at the hearing:

1. To be represented by an attorney or other party of his or her choosing.
2. To present evidence.
3. To testify in his or her own behalf.
4. To have his or her own witnesses testify.
5. To cross-examine the opposing party and witnesses.
6. To explain evidence offered in support of his or her position and
to rebut evidence offered in opposition.
7. To have a translator present, if necessary.?


?In the case of an appeal by a defendant, DLSE may represent a
plaintiff who is financially unable to afford counsel in the appeal
proceedings. The decision to represent the plaintiff is within the
sound discretion of DLSE legal staff. The plaintiff must meet the
financial criteria set forth by DLSE. The assigned deputy will send to
the plaintiff a Request for Attorney Representation (DLSE 553) along
with a Statement of Financial Status (DLSE 554) that must be completed
and returned to the DLSE office. If the plaintiff does not meet the
requirements for representation, he or she will be notified by the
legal staff of the reasons that DLSE will not be providing legal


I hope you have found this information helpful.  If you have any
questions, please request clarification prior to rating the answer.


Google Search Terms:

california labor laws final pay OR paycheck OR compensation
kimmbel-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Thanks for your answer it was very helpful

There are no comments at this time.

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