You should be paid for the work that you have carried out. This is a principle that stands firm in the state of California.
Does this change, however, if you quit your job? Outlined below are some key factors to consider regarding back pay and California Labor law.
Did you give notice?
California is an “at-will” employment state. Generally, this means that neither employee or employer has to give notice before they terminate the employment. However, quitting could impact when you receive your final payment after leaving.
If you have provided at least 72 hours’ notice, then you should be paid in full on your final day of work. This final payment includes unpaid wages or any other accrued pay (such as paid vacation days).
What if you didn’t give notice?
Quitting without giving notice doesn’t mean that you will not receive your final payment, it just changes the timeframe a little.
An employer should provide you with your final payment within 72 hours of you leaving the position. If they are unable to do this directly, they should send your final payment to a suitable address that they have on record for you.
What if a former employer doesn’t pay?
Most employers are familiar with labor laws across the state of California. However, this isn’t always the case. If you haven’t received your final paycheck, then you may have a legitimate wage and hour claim. These cases can be complex, so be sure to seek legal guidance from someone experienced in the field of employment law.