should I file a claim against my employer for delaying my final paycheck?

A reader writes:

I recently left my employer and started at a new workplace, which has been fantastic. However, on my last day with my previous employer (a pretty big nonprofit organization that works with kids), I didn’t receive my final paycheck. The office manager told me two days before my last day that I’d receive my final paycheck during the next pay period. I live in California and checked the labor code, and I was supposed to receive my final paycheck on my last day. The leadership staff (the CPO, the site director, and the office manager) were all out on my last day (a Friday), so I sent an email to the office manager with my final hours and said that I wanted my final paycheck by the following Wednesday. I didn’t want to bring up the labor code, so I simply said it was so that I could make the transition from my old job to my new job easier.

Well, I didn’t hear back that entire week and didn’t receive my paycheck. So I emailed again today (so about a week and a half has passed) and this time brought up that I hadn’t received my paycheck yet even though I had requested it by Wednesday and that after looking at the labor code, I should have received it on my last day, and that I wanted the issue resolved quickly. The office manager said she hadn’t looked at my previous email because she doesn’t handle manually input hours until the end of a pay period (and I had to manually input my final hours). So my check should be mailed out Wednesday.

I’m a little frustrated because this has put my wife and I in a bind because we’re trying to pay bills and I don’t receive my first paycheck from my new job until the middle of October because of where I started in their pay period. So we’re having to dive into savings to cover our expenses until I can get this paycheck. It’s more frustrating to me that the office manager didn’t even open my email about my final hours and request for my paycheck until a full week after I sent it. I know that the California Labor Code entitles me to penalty wages because of the length of time I’ve had to wait and the fact that this falls under willfully not paying me. I don’t want to burn my bridges completely, but this has put my wife and I in a difficult place financially. My immediate supervisor from there is leaving the organization, and I know she’ll give me a good reference, so I wouldn’t be dependent on the organization for a reference. Should I just drop this altogether, accept that I got my paycheck albeit late, and move on? Or should I file a claim with the labor dept?

To fill in readers who might not understand how this works in California:  When an employer in California (and some other states) doesn’t pay you within the amount of time the law requires, the law says that they owe you additional money on top of your wages — as a penalty for being late. (In this case, it’s an amount equal to your daily rate of pay for each day that the money remains unpaid, up to a maximum of 30 days.)

For what it’s worth, they probably didn’t intentionally set out to screw you over; many smaller employers without dedicated employment lawyers on staff don’t realize that some states require the final paycheck to be issued on an employee’s last day. You can argue that they should realize, but the reality is that many don’t. So when you asked for it to be issued to you by that following Wednesday rather than in the next regular payroll, they probably didn’t realize that there were legal requirements in play.

In any case, as for what to do here… It really depends on how you feel about the employer and what kind of relationship you want with them.

The argument for filing a claim: The law entitles you to do that if you want. They broke the law, and this is the recourse that the law makes available to you.

The argument for not filling a claim: It’ll absolutely be taken by your old employer as an F-you. You’ll be immediately making the relationship a contentious one, you’ll burn the bridge as far as future references, and you may find yourself being badmouthed (subtly or not subtly) to other employees, vendors, and others. That might not seem fair, but that tends to happen when you bring legal action against someone, even if you’re 100% in the right.

Now, you might think that you don’t care about the reference because you’ll use the manager who’s no longer employed there, but plenty of future reference-checkers will call this company directly. And beyond that, you never know when someone from that company is going to pop up at a different company you’d like to work at, and being the guy who filed a legal claim because his paycheck was a week or two late is something that could kill your chances there.

I know none of this sounds particularly fair. After all, why provide a legal remedy if there’s such a downside to using it?  But that’s the way it works. The same is true for bringing most other types of legal action too; there tends to be a price, and only you can decide if the price is worth it to you.

Personally, I’d save legal action for cases where something is more egregious than this. But you might make the calculation differently, and that’s fine. Just do it with your eyes fully open about how it could play out.

{ 130 comments… read them below }

  1. JessA*

    I was in a somewhat similar position a few years ago. I was wondering…What about filing for unemployment? Does that come with the same negative consequences that you have outlined here?

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      No, very different. There are some employers who rabidly fight any and every unemployment claim, but filing for unemployment is pretty normal; it’s not seen as the same thing as filing a complaint with a labor agency or bringing legal action.

      1. Lisa*

        I had a boss that would fight unemployment, and claim that the decision was mutual for the person to leave. Sometimes it worked, and sometimes it didn’t. It was a crummy thing to do especially since he usually fired people by screaming at them to get the hell out. Some guys never came back and filed, others came back the next day and asked if he meant it. He would be cooled off by then and tell them to go back to work.

        1. anon-2*

          There are even firms out there that will go to work to assist employers at suppressing legitimate unemployment claims.

          I had a friend who was released from a big-box store, supposedly for cutbacks, and then when he went to collect, he found out the store reported he was released for cause.

          He wasn’t and they stalled/delayed/obstructed his claim for eight months. Had he been in Massachusetts, they never would have done this. Then the company broke down and came clean, and he received one big unemployment check.

          All should remember that in some states, non-payment of wages can be a felony. And an aggrieved employee will be called upon, in swearing out charges, under oath – to name names. If you’re a manager and you’re involved in a caper like that, you might end up spending some time in a cool, dark cell.

          Also remember – when criminal charges go a-flyin’, the suits are interested in protecting THEMSELVES, and the company, not necessarily the line managers. The “everyman for himself” attitude kicks in.

          Also remember – “but I was just following orders” has never been an effective criminal defense.

  2. Two-cents*

    My initial thought is “don’t file a complaint”, just as Alison recommends. It would most likely cause hard feelings, unnecessarily. The most likely scenario is that the organization thinks they need to pay on their regular pay date for the hours the op worked, and they do not understand the California labor law. So unless the OP really doesn’t care about burning bridges, especially if it’s a field where word gets around, don’t make waves.
    And on a separate issue, if the OP had stayed in the job, pay would have occurred on the regular payday; so it sounds like poor planning to be in a financial bind because the OP was expecting to be paid earlier than usual simply due to changing jobs? Or am I missing something? I’m a believer in the old saw, “don’t count your chickens until they are hatched.”

    1. Elizabeth*

      I think the OP is in a bind with the late check because (with it having to be mailed and all) it will be later than it would have been if he had kept working there, and the new place pays on a different schedule (bi-weekly instead of weekly, maybe?). It doesn’t sound like it’s necessarily due to poor planning on his part.

    2. Jeff*

      Hey, this is the OP. I am on a different pay schedule with the new job, and it was going to be about a month before I’d be paid when I left the old job. Because of the way my bill payments are scheduled, it would have been much easier to get that last paycheck on my last day so that I could zero out all of my bill payments and be able to go that month without needing my first paycheck. Unfortunately it didn’t work out that way, thus the need to dip into savings.

      1. Lisa*

        It could take months to receive the labor check though, and it won’t help you in the interim. For me, I would weigh how long I was at the company before making a claim. If it was 1 year, not a huge deal … but 5 years. You could be wiping out 5 years worth of good work with one claim worth $(insert pay here). Think about it, it sucks and put you in a bind, but at least you had savings to cover you.

    3. Anonymous*

      Re: poor planning – If you’re going from being paid weekly to biweekly, semi-monthly, or monthly, that can cause huge issues with bill pay (and sounds like it could have per OP’s later response). I went from weekly with a physical check to semi-monthly with direct deposit – I didn’t get paid for almost a month due to when I started work.

  3. Twentymilehike*

    Ugh what a mess!! I’m actually really glad this topic came up because my hubby and I are worried about how we will do in the transition between jobs period and knowing this can help us both talk to our bosses when we leave about making sure we get out final checks on time!!

    By thoughts about taking action are probably to let it go. I went through a similar think with my old land lord (only I really WANTED to say f-you!). But she ended up making unwarranted legal threats back and because she had the resources to follow through and we did not, we had to suck it up and drop the issue. It hurt my pride and it sucked knowing she could get away with breaking the law (both intentionally and unintentionally) because of economic status.

    OP, don’t take this the wrong way, but you are very lucky you had saving to use in the interim because many do not. Thankfully that was an option for you and now hopefully you can replenish them with you late check. Good luck in your new job!!

    (An sorry about the typos … Editing on a phone is kind of a drag!)

  4. Ariancita*

    No advice on this, but I’d like to point out that in this case, it’s very likely that the organization did indeed know about this particular labor law. From my 12 years of working in California and from my many friends many more years of working there, in jobs ranging from minimum wage retail and fast food to corporate offices, every single one of our employers were aware of this law. The reason: many many employees use it. It’s not uncommon that when a CA employee leaves, they let it be known that they are expecting their check on the last day. This is a law that many are very knowledgeable about, generally. OP’s organization is, as she/he described, large and well known, to boot. So just wanted to point out that there’s a good chance they did know about it (and it was done deliberately).

      1. Ariancita*

        Because most people don’t file a complaint, for the very reasons you described. And there’s lots of reasons why the organization would wait to pay–many of them having nothing to do with being deliberately punitive. The reasons are usually fairly mundane. I work for a major Ivy League university and they mess up my payroll all. the. time. And everyone else’s check that I’ve worked with there. All for mundane reasons (ineptness, changes in HR or business office staff, forgetfulness, not feeling any urgency to do it correctly because no one complains to DoL even though by law they could because of all the reasons you mention, Kafka-ish bureaucracy that is so process over burdened and not deliverable focused, etc etc)

        1. Ask a Manager* Post author

          All those reasons but one are still not intentional though (aside from the issue of whether at some point you have to view not fixing chronic incompetence to be a deliberate choice), so I’d still say that the most likely thing is that they didn’t set out to screw him over or violate the law. It’s not impossible that they did, of course, but I’m not seeing anything here that makes it look like that.

          1. Ariancita*

            Sure, but it’s intentional in the sense that they are probably aware of their legal obligation, but don’t think it’s a big deal, so it’s not intentionally punitive. They’re not trying actively to be jerks. They just don’t care. But in any case, my point was that whatever their reasons, there is a good chance they are aware of the law, unlike other situations I’ve seen here where the LW is dealing with an obscure law in an employment context where many organizations/companies aren’t really aware of the law. California has strong worker protection laws for a reason–people lobby for them, get them on the ballot, vote for them. They’re more generally aware of the labor laws there because of this relatively high level of activism.

          2. Ariancita*

            Also just want to add–totally agree with your take on choosing which ditch to die in. I agree with saving legal cases for the real egregious problems. And also agree with another poster about having to transfer money from a savings account isn’t really all that bad compared to what happens with people who don’t have those kinds of resources.

        2. Aimee*

          CA law is very particular about pay periods (not just for last paychecks, but for how many days an employer has to issue checks after the close of the pay period too). When my company messed up my paycheck (3 times – all due to unintentional mistakes or someone dropping the ball – the first time was over 1/2 my paycheck when I moved from hourly to salaried and someone forgot to update payroll, so it would have put me in a bind), I was issued a debit card for the amount missing before the end of the day, because of the law. When they had a payroll issue that stopped the direct deposits from being issued, they fixed it the same day, but because it was a Friday, many of us didn’t get our money until Monday. The company covered any return payment fees or late fees from automatic payments that were rejected because of the problem, because they realize that paying people correctly is a serious issue. Every company needs to realize this.

          1. Jamie*

            This is a good point and a lot of people realize that many (most?) companies do treat payroll as a sacred trust.

            Even though I’m not in California, there is no doubt in my mind that my employer would move heaven and earth to rectify a payroll issue before anyone’s pay was affected.

            There is nothing more important than processing payroll properly and on time. Nothing.

            1. Aimee*

              Exactly. Plus, when issues do happen (because payroll is run by humans, and humans aren’t perfect), knowing that they will do whatever it takes to make it right as quickly as possible means that I am going to have more patience and be less upset with them. And since they aren’t getting yelled at, and I’m not frustrated and yelling, we’re all happier and more productive!

      2. Girasol*

        Oddly enough, I had two California employers stiff me for pay when I was just starting out and poor as a churchmouse, fresh from school and scraping up the rent on minimum wage jobs to get through another economic downturn. Both bragged that they hired only women and foreigners because you don’t have to pay them minimum wage. They claimed that foreigners didn’t dare complain (implying that they were illegal) and women weren’t smart enough. As Ariancita said, they did have the California wage law posted but claimed that we were just confused and it didn’t apply to us. (It’s in plain English and not confusing at all.) At the time a person could get help from the state labor relations board. It wasn’t quick, due to their workload, and took even longer if the claim was anonymous, since that would require a full audit of all employees (and get back pay for everyone.) If you’re in a hurry to get bills paid, it won’t help, but if you don’t get paid and eventually want the paycheck more than the kind reference, you could look into it.

      3. Mike C.*

        You’re assuming a rational actor model here. And really, it doesn’t matter what their intentions are, they broke the law and they should suffer the penalty without the employee being victimized by a falsified reference.

          1. Anonymous*

            I don’t know, as a HM, a chilly reference from an employer that broke the law wouldn’t carry much weight. OP would just have to state the situation in the interview and I’d be fine with his actions and horrified at the employer.

            The law is clearly posted in every workplace here in California. To say the previous employer is unaware of it is a bit of a stretch. If it isn’t posted at that workplace, oooh red flag #2.

            1. fposte*

              It’s a chilly reference from somebody an applicant *claims* broke the law. The prospective employer has no idea if this is true or if this is somebody covering themselves.

              1. Anonymous*

                Anon from just above here-
                I’d ask the employer for the story also. No reason not to. What they say will tell me quite a lot, not about my candidate but about their company. Look, payroll is ultra-violet important. Any well managed company ensures that it is done right. A company that makes a mistake with payroll makes it right immediately, not next week. And, when I encounter a candidate from a poorly managed company I cannot penalize them for a bad reference. In this case it’s a payroll thing, but it could be some other management issue causing the bad reference. I consider the candidate first, then references. Even a bad reference for an outstanding candidate won’t keep them out of the running.

                1. Ask a Manager* Post author

                  Yeah, but a lot of employers (the OP’s and potential future employers) aren’t going to think that paying someone on their regularly scheduled payday warrants legal action. They’re going to think, “Wow, so if we make a mistake, there’s going to be no buffer; he’ll instantly turn to legal action.”

    1. AP*

      One other thought – if it’s a pretty big nonprofit, but not big enough that it has staff lawyers or HR to advise on something like this, could it not be based in California? Or have outsourced payroll that is out of state? I’ve had a claim filed against me because I work for a tiny company on the other side of the country, hired a freelancer based in CA, and honestly had just never heard of this. CA employment law is so radically different from every other state – who reads the whole state employment code every time you take on a project or contractor just in case there might be something odd in there?

      The part about needing to be paid on your last day can also be interpreted so that if you’re working a one-week gig, you need to be handed a check on the last day of the project (sort of unheard of anywhere else!) So we were hit with penalties for every day after that that we didn’t pay (3 or 4 days, I forget) and then union fees and AUGH. I think we ended up settling for half, but as Allison points out, it left such a bad taste in our mouths, I can’t imagine hiring that person again.

          1. Natalie*

            It doesn’t look like anything written down, but I am singing “California Law” to the tune of Tupac’s “California Love”.

  5. Anon*

    Normally I’m all for strict enforcement of labor laws, but in this case it sounds like a reasonably honest mistake with no real harm done (having to transfer money over from your savings account to hold you over for a couple of weeks doesn’t really seem like harm given what interest rates are right now).

  6. Anonymous*

    I’d agree – so long as the paycheque shows up on the regular date, it’s probably best to let it slide. More likely an honest mistake than the deliberate shenanigans which the law will be designed to protect against.

  7. Rob*

    I’d wait to see what to do when they end up paying you. Do they throw the penalty in with the check? Do they just ignore it? Do they acknowledge the delay and compensate in some other way? Based on that, it may determine the next course of action.

    Now, all that being said, perhaps this is a good signal to the OP to clean up his/her finances a bit better so that the next time they switch jobs, they can get through the likely lag of the next paycheck. It seems like there are savings to get through, but it also seems like the lack of pay is more than just a minor inconvenience based on the wording.

    1. EngineerGirl*

      If you had lived in California you would know that many younger people live paycheck to paycheck. The cost of living is significantly higher than the rest of the US. The OP is actually in a better position than many just because he actually has savings.

      1. fposte*

        There’s nothing particularly California about that–every state in the union has some workers being paid only enough to cover that month’s expenses. And in this case, the OP *has* managed savings to tide him over, so I don’t think he’s missed a financial chance–he just wants the law to be obeyed, which isn’t unreasonable.

        1. Laura L*

          Damn straight. California’s not special, LOTS of people live paycheck to paycheck in every state.

          Remember, where cost of living is lower, salaries are generally lower as well.

      2. N.*

        Sorry EngineerGirl, California doesn’t corner the market on the high cost of living in the US, people live paycheck to paycheck everywhere. Correct me if I am wrong (anyone), but it appears to me that the original poster likely hasn’t transitioned between jobs lately, and though he was fortunate enough to have the luxury of his savings this time; next time he anticipates a change, he hopefully will have the experience to prepare in advance and not be caught so unawares that this can happen. Legal recourse, penalty pay, and righteous indignation is meager consolation if you already missed your bills.

      3. Ariancita*

        Agree with others that CA doesn’t corner the market on high cost of living, but an additional aspect is that CA ranks in the top 5 (I think) of taxes. Though they aren’t the highest.

  8. Jeff*

    This is the OP.

    Thanks to everyone so far who has responded! I did end up getting paid on what would have been the next pay cycle. It was just the wages (I wasn’t expecting them to volunteer throwing in the penalty wages). I’m going to let it go. I do want to move on and settle into my new job, which is going extraordinarily well. I’m fitting in very well at my new job and loving the work, so I want to focus on that rather than what’s in the past.

    To clarify with my finances, the job was a part-time, barely-above minimum wage job, and my wife and I were barely making ends meet as it was (thus my search for a full-time job, and this has been the culmination of over a year’s long search for full-time employment). We were lucky that my wife had some money in her savings that we could dig into, but we’d be living on the edge for quite awhile because of my employment situation. We both graduated two years ago with post-graduate degrees, so student loan debt is a burden for both of us also, plus we got married a year ago. So I know it seems like we should have had a better plan in place, but we were doing the best we could with what we had. It’s a rough place to be (as I’m sure many people can relate with) and we’re both very excited to be in a place where we can start putting more money in savings and worrying less about our financial well being.

    1. Another Emily*

      Actually it seems to me that you guys had a great plan in place, you had emergency savings that you could use for this. So you’re doing better than me in that regard. Congratulations on the new job! I’m glad the situation worked out.

      1. Zed*

        I agree, Another Emily. I don’t get why people are acting like the OP was financially irresponsible. Expecting to be paid when the LAW says you should be paid + obviously having enough savings to cover the tight period with no paychecks = pretty good financial management, as far as I’m concerned.

    2. Aimee*

      I’m glad you were able to make it work and that you got your check on the next payday at least! It’s hard starting out in CA, trying to make ends meet in entry level jobs, and things like this can throw you off course pretty easily.

    3. moss*

      Don’t listen to anyone telling you you “should” have done this or that. People saying things like that are not aware of the realities of the economic situation many people find themselves in.

      Congrats on your new job, sorry your ex-company tried to scr*w you and all the best in the future!

    4. N.*

      Okay I feel a little silly now about my last post now that we have learned this worked out for you! Kudos to you for your resilience and ability to make it happen!

    5. Abe*

      You shouldve taken the new job and filed the complaint after you are settled. statute of limitations should still be in place. I was disappointed to see AAM take the company’s side on this and guilt you into not doing it.

  9. Law School Dropout*

    You are far nicer than I. I would have filed if for no other reason than to send a message that employers can’t be so cavalier about (1) employees’ paychecks, and (2) California law. These are not things to mess with.

    Well, I might have gotten over it, since it’s a non-profit. However, I am just appalled that the current state of affairs in America is that employees fear retaliation if they dare to enforce their legal rights. Especially the right to get paid on time.

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      It’s not just with employment though — if you bring legal action against anyone, in any realm of life, you can assume you’ll make an enemy. Few people remain on good terms with people who file legal complaints against them.

      1. EngineerGirl*

        And they will absolutely talk. Employers do not want to hire people that bring lawsuits. Being blackballed isn’t worth it.

        As an FYI my sister brought a lawsuit against her HR director who had attempted to rape her (yes I said rape). She went for 6 years without a job.

        1. N.*

          I concede RIGHTEOUS Indignation and severe penalty is ALWAYS warranted in that circumstance. She should be compensated handsomely for those damages (refering to the blacklisting, I would never suggest anyone could be compensated for that kind of trauma, there is not enough money in the world). Six years without a job because of deliberate blackballing in that circumstance should land her on easy street and others in jail.

    2. Cat*

      This. A thousand time this.

      I have worked with far too many small business owners (all in California) who simply believe the laws don’t apply to them because they are such a small business. And that’s not an extrapolation based on their actions, they have literally said that.

      I was shorted on a final check, I filed a claim after the promised pay never appeared. I made an enemy but standing up for my rights is more important to me. If that makes me naive, idealistic, and un-savvy in business…so be it.

      1. Kelly*

        Amen, Cat! I have always believed standing up for my rights is more important than burning so-called bridges with crooked employers and frankly I feel pity for anyone who doesn’t have the self-respect to do the same. Call me naive, etc., but at least I know my worth.

  10. Tee2072*

    I have filed such a grievance, but in that case I was fired, they lied to Unemployment as to why I was fired, but I had no proof that they told me one thing and Unemployment another. So that bridge was burned to the ground as I wouldn’t use them as a reference, and told future employers why I didn’t want to use them as a reference.

    I not only received the missing pay, but something like $2,000 on top of it (this was over 10 years ago, I can’t remember for sure!) for the days late it was.

    It never went beyond Labor Board (or whatever they are called, I don’t live in California any more, but Belfast!) sending them my claim and threatening them with legal action if they didn’t respond by X date by either a counter measure or a check. I received the check just within the deadline.

    Otherwise it would have gone to tribunal. And my research into at the time suggested the company would have had to pay me thousands and thousands if it had gone that far.

    Personally, I think it’s worth the burned bridge; you don’t mess with people’s income. But that’s my opinion in a different situation, from 10 years on and different country.

  11. Mike C.*

    Frankly, I don’t buy this reasoning for a second. Making payroll in ordinance with local, state and federal laws is one of the most basic functions any business with employees has to perform.

    People have written in at least once about situations where their paycheck bounced or wasn’t paid on time and everyone said that it was a perfectly fine excuse to leave. This is because employment is an agreement to do work in exchange for money. If the paycheck doesn’t clear or is late or never shows up, this is usually an unforgivable excuse.

    Yet here, why is the answer any different!? If I’m applying for work, and it comes time for references, I’m going to flat out say, “I left this particular job because I wasn’t receiving my paychecks on time.” This is a perfectly reasonable and rational thing to say, and the only kind of employer that would hold this against you is one who thinks bounced paychecks are perfectly fine.

    I just don’t get the worry about a “burned bridge”. The bridge was set alight when the employee wasn’t paid according to the law.

      1. Mike C.*

        Ok then I’ll flat out say, “There were issues at my previous employer sending out paychecks on time and it required the intervention of the state board of labor to correct. I hope you take this into account when you contact them for references.”

        My larger point still stands.

          1. Anonymous*

            Indeed, as AaM regularly has to remind people here, the simple fact is that, as the employee they have to accept that power rests with their manager. If their boss isn’t doing anything actually illegal (and very little is), then their choices are put up with it or leave. If it is illegal, then they have to remember that there’s nothing to prevent future employers pre-emptively retaliating if the employee sues (see EngineerGirl’s example above). Basically, this question, as everything else here,boils down to the usual: there has not been a point in recorded history where might has failed to make right.

            1. Ask a Manager* Post author

              Actually, because I’m a pedantic bore, I need to point out there have been many recorded points in history where might has lost out to right :)

              1. Jamie*

                “because I’m a pedantic bore,”

                You are many things, Alison, but I’m going to have to strongly disagree with you on this. :)

            2. Mike C.*

              Then the folks who refuse to stand up for themselves make it easy for these folks to take advantage of the rest of us.

  12. Anonymous*

    Yeah, I don’t understand how you are in a bind if you were basically getting your last paycheck when you would normally get your paycheck from your old job. Sounds more like you just wanted the money and your vacation payout sooner. In a lot of of states if you voluntarily resign they don’t have to pay you on your last day, they just have to pay you at the next regularly scheduled pay date. I think if you filed a claim due to this small delay you’d seriously be burning a bridge over something quite trivial.

  13. Eric*

    My only reference for the law is Alison. I’ll just focus this line.

    (In this case, it’s an amount equal to your daily rate of pay for each day that the money remains unpaid, up to a maximum of 30 days.)

    That can be quite a sum of money. At 30 days it can be in the thousands. Why leave that on the table when you are entitled to it? I would only follow Alison’s advice in the case that this job represented the bulk of your employment history. If this was just a 2 or 3 years stint out of a 10 year career, I’d risk the intangible “they might not give me a good reference if I leave this job I just took”.

    1. Jamie*

      “That can be quite a sum of money. At 30 days it can be in the thousands. Why leave that on the table when you are entitled to it?”

      I agree with that if it were 30 days. Or even over the next payroll period, or if they were being malicious and trying to cheat you out of vacation time due or whatever.

      But imo for what seems like an honest mistake where he ended up getting it the same time he’d have gotten paid if he was still working there? I’m not seeing the harm. If this caused a financial hardship because he anticipated getting a check on his last day, that certainly was something he could have said his last day. The casual reference to expecting it Wednesday seemed oddly passive if this was such a big deal.

      He didn’t miss a pay period and it doesn’t seem intentional. While I understand that it’s the law and of course he’s entitled to seek whatever recourse to which he feels entitled I personally wouldn’t pursue it.

      I think the spirit of the law is to keep employers from harming former employees with bad practices when it comes to their final check. The letter of the law can certainly be applied to more narrow confines, but to me that’s like issuing every person going 56 in 55 mile a hour zone a ticket. Is it the law – absolutely – but is it really serving the public good? Inadvertently going one mile over shouldn’t result in a hefty fine and having to take the day off for court, imo.

      I’m sure others see it differently – but there are instances where applying absolutes, even when legal, isn’t always in the interest of fairness.

  14. Anonymous*

    Although the OP’s original problem has been solved, consider this as an alternative course of action:
    Phone up one (more if possible, but don’t do them all in one evening) of your former colleagues, and ask if everything is OK there financially. Emphasise that it’s probably nothing, but that your final paycheque was delayed, and you were never given an explanation as to why. Mention that by doing this, they were risking stiff penalties. Obviously you’d never consider suing (since you had the savings to tide you over), but you were just wondering if there were problems – you’re sure they’ll be discreet.

    For good measure, you could even throw in something along the lines of how well the admin, Jack, had kept the stationary cupboard stocked. Now, you’re probably just imagining things, but you felt that the stationary stores had been allowed to dwindle much more than usual lately.

    If you happen to bump in to any of the kids’ parents going around town, you could also say:
    1) How much you loved working there, and were sorry to leave
    2) That you like your new place
    And then casually mention that you are wondering if you left just in time, since there were some hints that money was tight. But that that’s not for general discussion, since you could have been mistaken.

    As Allison always says: never badmouth your former employer. Always express absolute support, and simply give hints of problems, which you don’t want to discuss in detail since you’re not sure yourself (even though you’re sure they’ll be discreet).

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      Why on earth would you do this? You will make yourself look ridiculous to the employee, who presumably has seen no financial problems at work (and will continue to see no financial problems in the future), and you will be harming a nonprofit that works with kids, one that screwed up here but almost certainly didn’t intend malice. Plus, you’ll be keeping yourself tied mentally to a situation that you could have already moved on from.

      Either use the legal remedy available to you or don’t, but don’t play ridiculous games like this.

      Seriously, I would take a fresh look at your worldview if you really think this is a good idea.

      1. Anonymous*

        1) Why would someone do this? Why would someone “badmouth” a former employee to “employees, vendors and others” simply for asserting their legal rights?

        2) The employee will ‘look ridiculous’ yet the ‘organization will be harmed?’ While not strictly disjoint, those two possibilities hardly have much overlap.

        3) What has the fact that the organization “works with kids” have to do with anything? By the same logic, layoffs should be based on who has the most children to support.

        4) How would doing this necessarily prevent the employee from moving on? They could simply do it, and then dismiss the matter from their minds.

        1. Jamie*

          It’s dishonest, mean, and morally reprehensible.

          This isn’t real, right? I mean, no one would really find this acceptable behavior – right?

        2. Ask a Manager* Post author

          1. Because when you bring legal action against someone, especially when the situation isn’t especially egregious, that is generally taken as an act of hostility. In all areas of life, not just this one.

          2. Seems clear to me. Trash-talking someone often hurts both parties.

          3. Because most people wouldn’t want to harm a nonprofit that’s doing good work and that made what sounds like a mistake with no malice behind it, when they don’t need to.

          4. Because seeking revenge is the definition of not moving on.

    2. Ivy*

      I feel like this is a very gossipy and mentally damaging/draining “solution”. Yes, you can begin some kind of espionage passive-aggressive mission to get your money, but why? Why pull yourself into that? Why not just be direct? Why not just move on with life? This is taking a relatively innocent situation (they didn’t mean to do it) and turning into something much much more. For the record, I think you are badmouthing them and spreading rumors to boot. Rumors that aren’t true and are negative = badmouthing not to mention slandering.

      I agree with Alison’s “take a fresh look at your worldview” statement. These kinds of actions are what creates a toxic environment. Not just at work, but in the rest of your life. :(

      1. Anonymous*

        I think you are badmouthing them and spreading rumors to boot. Rumors that aren’t true and are negative = badmouthing not to mention slandering

        Hardly – the suggestion is to state a true fact, mention that speculation is about to start, speculate, and then repeat that it was merely speculation.

    3. Lisa*

      I used this strategy once in AR. We had an outstanding bill for 3 years. I was put in charge of collections, and the amount kept staring me in the face. I did the calling, mailings, emails for a few months, and could not get them to agree to pay it. Eventually, I said .. . Ok, Amy , whats the deal? is it a cash flow problem? … Amy was always giving excuses as to why we were not being paid the $2k they owed, so to get me off the phone once again, she said “yes” about the cash flow. I found out who the CEO was, and sent him a registered letter, stating the invoice, and attempts at collection and finally that “AP admitted that there was a cash flow problem”. I got a check a week later. No company wants those rumors going around. I feel bad that I got the dept a bad rap, but as collections it was my job to use what information I had, even if I did kind of coerce her to say “yes” in order to get me off the phone.

  15. Wilton Businessman*

    Never ever put yourself in the position where you NEED the next paycheck to survive. This is what emergency savings is for, emergencies. Is it inconvenient? Yes. Be glad that you have some savings to fall back on.

    Disclaimer: I know people are going to bad mouth me saying that in these times every penny counts, some people live paycheck to paycheck, you don’t understand about single mothers/single parents/single income/hourly wages/under-employment, etc. I do understand about all these things. In those cases it is MUCH more important to have emergency savings.

    1. Heather*

      I’ll be the first to say that you don’t seem to understand about those things – when you live paycheck to paycheck, by definition there is no money left over to build an emergency fund. Yes, it’s ideal to have one and it’s possible to slowly build one up over time, but if you’ve only got $10 left over per pay period and you save all of that for a year, you’ve still only got $260 at the end. Better than nothing, but it won’t get you very far if you lose your job.

      It makes me sad to think about how many people are completely unable to realize that others do not have the same advantages they do.

      1. Ask a Manager* Post author

        Absolutely that’s true, but in many, many cases, people saying they can’t afford to have emergency savings have cable, a cell phone, shoes more expensive than the ones at PayLess, etc. I completely agree with you that there are people who do NOT fall in that category, who have no gratuitous expenses, and you’re absolutely right that they shouldn’t be shamed for not having emergency savings. But I know a ton of people who say they can’t afford to save who actually can.

        1. Heather*

          Oh definitely – I’m talking about people who aren’t spending their money on luxuries and complaining that they have no money. Although I don’t think a cell phone counts as a luxury anymore, especially if you’re job searching. (But if you’re ditching your year-old iPhone 4 to get an iPhone 5 and crying poverty, I have no sympathy!)

          1. Natalie*

            A basic landline in my city costs the same as a basic cell phone package, and is actually quite a bit more than a prepaid cell.

            1. Laura L*

              Yep. Although, there are quite a few people who can’t afford to put minutes on a prepaid cell either.

      2. Wilton Businessman*

        So you’ve only got $260 at the end of they year, might as well blow it on Starbucks.

        The point is that you should strive to never be so dependent on an employer that it hampers your ability to survive. Whether you have $10 extra each paycheck or $1000, it doesn’t matter. Survival depends on preparation.

        I’d challenge that anybody that earns a wage can’t find enough to save for an emergency. There are always ways, some just might not be very pleasant or easy.

        1. N*

          Key word is strive. I agree with that. We should “strive” to have an emergency savings. I stopped judging people when I found four months worth of emergency savings gone in two weeks. Shortly after a company rescinded a job offer in Alaska, I flew home only to have our car destroyed in an accident two days later. This was in 2010 and we still have not recovered an emergency savings of more than $60.00, the funds have disappeared with every other emergency since then. Can call me foolish that we did not sell everything we owned to appear hat in hand at my parents house; if I am honest with myself I know independent living is truly the ultimate luxury however it is not one I am willing to surrender without a fight. Honestly I prefer this holding pattern until our situation improves, if it gets much worse I guess homelessness will be a choice I’ll have to consider.

  16. LL*

    It is so frustrating to read that the best advice is to lay down, be a doormat, ignore your rights, and let your previous employer break the law.

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      No, the best advice is to pick your battles and use the law when something is really important. In my opinion, waiting a week or two for a paycheck doesn’t rise to that standard; in other people’s opinion, it might, and they could proceed accordingly.

      1. LL*

        Thanks for your response to my comment. To clarify, I wasn’t arguing with your original advice and I agree that the best advice is to pick your battles. My comment was just me venting about the unfairness of all this – somewhat in line with your second to last paragraph. In other words, it seems unfair that we have these labor laws to protect employees, but in many cases it is not in the individual employee’s best interests to pursue legal remedies for violations. In the macro view, this seems to perpetuate unfair and illegal employer practices because it’s rarely worth it for an individual to fight it.

  17. AmyRenee*

    This is what stuck in my mind from the letter: “I didn’t want to bring up the labor code, so I simply said it would make the transition from my old to to new one easier” …
    WHY wouldn’t you want to bring up the labor codes? Especially if they are fairly recent or your company doesn’t have people leave very often. If I got an email that said, “I need my check by Wednesday, by California labor code xxx I should have had it on my last day” I would be much more likely to do it than an email that said “Could I please have my check by Wednesday, it would really help me out?” from an employee that’s already left.
    I agree that companies should follow the law, but do them the courtesy of reminding them of the law before you sue them over it! Also, how much would it cost you to sue them vs what you would get out of it? If you really want to push the issue, send a letter to the California labor board about it, and copy the company on it, hopefully that would serve as a warning to them.

  18. Anonymous*

    I’m struck at this law to begin with. How do organizations handle sudden resignations or firings? Do you have to cut short someone’s time to accomodate when the accounting staff are available? I think I would rather get my regular pay on the usual schedule than have a smaller amount on a last day.

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      In California, I think it’s only in effect if the employee gave you at least 72 hours of their resignation. With firings, you usually know ahead of time that you’re going to fire the person so you have time to get the check ready. If you don’t (because they did something where you had to fire them on the spot, like punching someone), you can always just handwrite a company check. Most payroll services have a calculator that will do the taxes for you in a case like that.

      1. Anonymous*

        That’s where I get confused. My company (not in CA) does not always have the check-signer around. I have to say this law really makes no sense to me.

        Last check has to be a paper one in my state, but otherwise nothing special (on regular pay schedule) I believe there is a shorter time for terminations. So far I’ve only had to worry about the paper checks!

        1. Sara*

          Well, presumably companies in CA or with employees in CA make sure to allocate resources differently so that they are equipped to ensure that check gets out on the employee’s last day. If they don’t, I suppose they just pay the penalty until the check does get out.

          1. CA Manager*

            If any employee gives more than 72 hours notice, the employer should have the final check on their last day, otherwise the employer has 72 hours to get the final check to the employee. For firings – we “suspend” an employee (often with pay) until we have the final check in hand to give the employee.

    2. Jamie*

      The law applies to employees being discharged – so they should have the check ready to go.

      I don’t know what their law is regarding the time period for resignations.

    3. Payroll Lady*

      THe law actually is: Immediately upon firing, on employee’s last day IF they gave 72 hours notice, if not then you have 72 hours to get the employee the check from the last day.

      I have worked for NJ employers for over 25 years that have had offices in CA. If the office did an immediate termination, we would pay the employee for the next day also, which covered the “penalty” we would have been imposed IF he went to the labor board. Ignorance of the law is not an excuse, and the labor boards NEVER want to hear ” I didn’t know that was the law”

      ( Oh how I LOVE CA laws !)

    4. Jeff*

      Yeah, the law is that if you resign with at least 72 hours notice, you get your paycheck on your last day. Less than that and the employer has 72 hours to issue a final paycheck. With discharges, it’s the final day as well. (I got very familiar with the labor law when the paycheck was delayed)

  19. Student*

    Would the place of business have hesitated to sue you, given the chance? Some places would, others wouldn’t.

    Will the legal fees outweigh the monetary benefit? No point in taking legal action if it’ll just get your deeper in debt and all the penalty fee gets paid to the lawyer.

    I don’t think their motivation matters much. They failed their legal obligation to their employee. The only thing that matters is whether the OP is feeling magnanimous towards them about it or not and whether it’d be worth the lawyer fees. This law doesn’t care whether they did it maliciously, incompetently, or indifferently. If you want a different law that does take such motivations into account, lobby the local CA legislature.

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      Well, yeah, the law doesn’t care — but humans do, and life in general does. So there’s more to take into account than just whether the OP feels like it or not (as I laid out in the post).

      For what it’s worth, employers usually pass on the opportunity to sue employees.

    2. Jamie*

      “I don’t think their motivation matters much. They failed their legal obligation to their employee.”

      I do – I think motivation counts for a lot.

      I look at it kind of like if my neighbor’s dog got out. We, like most communities, have leash laws but if Skippy accidentally gets out I’m going to grab some treats and help him get her back in his yard.

      Because he’s a good dog dad and very responsible and sometimes people just aren’t as quick with the gate as they needed to be.

      Could I call the cops the second the dog left the fence? Sure. Would that be a nice thing to do if it was an accident and he was rectifying it and there was no harm to anyone? Nope.

      And pragmatically, which approach would lead him to be helpful and not dickish to me if my dog ever did the same?

      Now, if the dog was neglected and wandering all the time because he wasn’t providing her with proper fencing or supervision…or if she was dangerous…then you call the cops. Because that’s what the spirit of the law intended – to keep both people and dogs safe. The law wasn’t created to give you a legal cause to cudgel your neighbors for being imperfect.

      I just think intent matters a lot in most things, and if we look at every single infraction as something for which punishment needs to be meted out it will make for a very unpleasant world.

    3. Ariancita*

      Just want to point out that the issue of legal fees and lawyers getting the money is rather moot. For these kinds of things, the ex-employee would go to the labor board, not a lawyer, and it would in most cases be settled fairly quickly. Also, it’s probably important to note that in CA and laws of all kinds, there are lots of legal aid and other groups that will even go to court on your behalf without you having to pay anything (or a very small sliding fee, like $25). I’m thinking things like tenant laws (disputes with landlords), labor laws, and the like.

  20. Mike C.*

    Ok, so what’s the difference here between not receiving a pay check on time, and the letter a few weeks ago about the start up that also wasn’t paying on time? In that thread folks were appalled that money wasn’t coming in but here most are forgiving.

    Is it the difference between a for-profit and non-profit situation? Is it the fact that the former had several checks missing while the latter only had one which was late yet short? Are folks uncomfortable with the idea of using a legal process to force someone to pay them? Are folks uncomfortable with this particular law, or feel that it goes too far?

    I’m not looking to argue my view here as I’ve done so here, I’m more interested to see why folks are viewing these issues differently.

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      In the letter a few weeks ago where the person wasn’t getting paid … they weren’t getting paid. In this case, the person got paid on his regular pay day — the employer made a mistake and didn’t give him the check on his last day, but it was right there on his normal pay day. Very different — a one-time mistake versus paychecks not coming regularly.

      1. Jamie*

        This. Huge difference between being expected to work for no pay and one clerical error which still hit at the same time it would have had he still been working there.

        The two situations aren’t even comparable in my mind. And being a non-profit would never be a factor in my way of thinking about this (or most issues) personally.

  21. JEM*

    I understand not wanting to rock the boat with the old employer. I also understand that sometimes honest mistakes happen and that it is unlikely that the OPs old employer had malicious intent.

    Since the OP did inform the old employer of the Labor Law and they still didn’t comply, I might be tempted to file against them. If the get away with it once, they’ll continue to try and do so.

    It wouldn’t necessarily be all about the money so much as keeping an employer honest and ‘doing the right thing.’

    And, CONGRATS to the OP for the new job and having the financial resources to make it work!

  22. Annie*

    well, my last day at work was on 1/25/13. i should have been paid on 02/01/13 for working the week before. that check should have included regular & overtime hours. my ex-boss told me on 1/28/13 that my final check would be mailed to me however, i still haven’t received it.

    as CA law states, since I was an employee without a contract and I quit without giving notice, the employer has to pay me my final check within 72 hrs. however, the next pay period would have been the next day after the 72 hr period. if the employer didn’t know that this law existed, i should have still been paid by 02/01/13, right?

    now, it’s been 2 weeks since i’ve asked my employer to mail my final check to my address but i haven’t heard a peep since. no direct deposit or physical check.

    just an FYI – i quit because my employer was telling me that he was unable to pay overtime hours and wanted me to “shift” any hours past 40 regular hours into the following week. so if i worked 45 hrs, he wanted me to stay home for 5 hrs the following week and have it count towards next week’s 40 hours! i don’t need to be a legal expert but i knew that is completely illegal! since, i never signed a contract to work there, i chose to give no notice and quit immediately before my ex-boss continues to exploit me.

    now it’s been 2 weeks since my resignation and formal notice for my ex-boss to send my final paycheck to my home address. i am considering on sending a second notice for final pay that outlines:
    – CA law
    – the fact that i am still owed wages & overtime pay
    – the fact that i am entitled to “waiting time penalties”
    – and that a certain amount is owed to me
    – if i do not receive full payment and penalties incurred then i will file a claim with the CA labor commissioner

    i do have concerns on sending this letter. for one, even though i worked for this employer for less than 6 months, i’m not worried about burning bridges and losing a reference but i am afraid that he may contact mutual people in this line of business and speak poorly of me because i threatened to file a claim (or ended up having to file a claim). secondly, i have the feeling he will pay me out the wages & overtime owed but won’t pay the penalties accrued.

    i’m trying to decide if i want to send this letter to informally try to resolve this matter between the two of us or if i should just go straight to filing a claim for unpaid wages with the department? i know either way, my ex-boss will react poorly BUT he still owes me money.


  23. Silen*

    I was in the same situation, I file against my ex employers with the department of labor in California , San bernardino and I must say they are a joke. My ex employers owe me $4092 and they agree to pay monthly yet they only sent one check of $511 and department of labor didn’t do crap and didn’t care. They are suppose to be the law yet try don’t do anything to pay them pay up.

    1. Annie*

      Silen – was the $4092 to be paid over a period of time or just broken out into payments until the balance owed was fulfilled? how long did the process take for you to file until the department contacted your ex employer and asked them to pay you?

      have you since contacted the department to let them know that the ex employer has not complied and hasn’t been sending payments or are you expecting them to do it automatically for you? will you be contacting a lawyer to take this to small claims court? i believe there are organizations that can help you file complaints with the court. you would have to dig and research this info based on your area.

      let us know how your situation turned out!

  24. Char*

    I was hired by a non for profit organization in November 2012. I have received 2 pay checks, one of which was short by at couple hundred dollars. I was constantly told I would be getting a check (going to pay by the month). I have back pay due from March totaling almost $2,000. I resigned as of June 20th. I still have not received my back pay and now the founder wants me meet with me to give me “some money”. I don’t want “some” I want it all. I am a senior and did more than was expected of me and I want and expect my back pay.

    If I except “some money” will that be forfeiting the balance due me?
    Also there were no elections of officers,and no financial report at any of our meetings, which I think is illegal.



  25. Elvis Tannehill*

    I quit my job recently and my boss told me I would receive my check wednesday but he doesn’t give pay stubs plus he has three illegal immagrants working under minimum wage..he also publicaly hummiliated me the whole time I was working there but I have no witness or evidence

  26. KEE*

    My wage is late often. Even I request by email, there is no much response. Every 15 days, I started running with wage problems. I worked in my company for 1 year and I had not haven any overtime work payment and statutory holiday. I had not haven any vacation. I am afraid of that they play with wage and show anger without reason. Any good solution for this?

  27. April*

    I had a ?. My previous employer is holding my last 2 paychecks. I have tried to get them. At first, they said they would be mailed. I never got them. Now they’re saying I owe them money which is total S. What do I do? I live in Ohio.

  28. servin*

    were are curently going tru this at the moment. my friend actually worked for a general contractor and he quit because he was always late on paying him and always would go on vacation and not pay him sometimes up to 3 weeks and to be honest i dont think this is fair . so we quit and everyday for past month he has called and left voicemails and did not pay him i actually got so pist off that i ended up calling for him and told him if he doesnt call by today we will be going to court so he ended up callin in the next 20 mins so i told him i dont think its right u havent paid him past month he needs his money he has bills to pay so he kept lying and lying so we got his attention he is also paying these guys cash which workers comp not involve . if he files a claim he should be getting loss wages for every day he didnt get paid right?

  29. kumar kaushal*

    Hi, I have a serious concern about my company juvenile deliquency. Actually I left organisation without notice period due to some serious reason before that I wark with Quatrro BPO for 28 Days as per salary rules but company is now detaindmy salary and PF as well. So, please let me know a suitable action that i should take against company to get my remuneration and PF as well. Please suggest

  30. kumar kaushal*

    Hi, My previous organisation has paid me less amount of PF approx RS10000.00 from the other employees who released with me at the same date. So, may i go in legal to get my amount that gompany didnt pay me till now. Please suggest

  31. Monique*

    After reading every post, I found validity in some while others left me shaking my head in confusion. So here’s the deal….I live in California where the labor laws are very clear and established to protect the rights of the employees. I find it perplexing though how some of you side with the employers saying that they might not know because they may be a small business and to that I say it’s a load of crap. If you were driving on an unfamiliar road and failed to see a posted speed limit sign and a police officer pulls you over because you were exceeding the established limit, do you think that he would honestly care that you that you feigned ignorance? Well, the same goes for these so-called small business owners. If these owners don’t take the time to educate themselves when setting up a business and learn the laws as they apply to the people that will keep their business operating they have no business to be in business. The situation I’m currently dealing with has to do with my 21-year-old daughter who recently left a job to move from Northern California to Southern California. She provided a letter of resignation to weeks before her last day of work, yet her check was not given to her on her final day even though her employer knew that she would be moving within a matter of days. Now I don’t know about any of you but I don’t expect many younger people to be that versed in labor laws so in this situation I don’t hold her responsible yet I feel her prior employer knew full well what he was doing and took advantage of the situation since he simply told her that her check would come out in the next pay period and since he knew that she was moving asked for her address to mail it to her. She did the right thing by providing him a written letter of resignation yet he couldn’t do the right thing and follow the law? It also needs to be mentioned that the majority of his staff are all young in addition, he does not allow breaks nor does he have a place for his employees to sit, another violation. Another practice that he employed quite often would be to schedule my daughter only to advise her when she arrived at work that they really didn’t need her that particular day so often times she did that driving half an hour to work an hour and then turn around and drive another half hour back home. Of course I wouldn’t have thought much of any of this until I received a text from her showing me the envelope that held her check with a return address label on it stating that it was undeliverable. Her last day of work was May 28 and the date on the envelope was June 14 which was in excess of two weeks after the final day. This is not a case where she can dip into her savings or a case of bad timing as I read in previous posts, this is a case of employer violating the law and while I don’t know if it’s a standard practice with him I tend to believe it is more directed or perpetuated against his younger employees. No moving back to the check itself, which she told him to mail to my address and that I would deposit it into her bank account to which she received no reply. Of course, with this being my daughter I have a vested interest in her financial well-being as well as educating her on some of the lesser-known aspects of working as it relates the back office operations that she’s had no need to be involved with. I, on the other hand have worked in administration for over 25 years in the field of office administration with an emphasis on payroll and human resource management. At the age of 22 I was a payroll manager for a Hyatt Regency Hotel in the San Francisco Bay area where I processed payroll for over 350 employees on a weekly and biweekly basis and I took it very seriously to learn the law. When our payroll processing system went down one week did I expect employees to wait till the next pay period? No, I got busy and started cutting checks manually. I learned even before I took this position that you don’t mess with peoples money and you don’t assume that they can get by so for this employer to flagrantly violate a simple law is unconscionable to me. And after reading so many of your posts I am quite frankly surprised at the leniency or maybe it’s more the cavalier attitude that many of you seem to have about people violating a law by making comments like pick your battles, don’t ruffle feathers, don’t burn a bridge. Really? These laws were thought up, drafted and voted using our taxpayer dollars yet you don’t feel the need to see compliance? It truly makes me wonder what you do find important and if you view other laws in a similar gray fashion rather than the black-and-white that it was intended as. Actually now that I think about it, I’ve already answered my question as to how to pursue this and I hope that what I’ve said has made at least some of you think a little harder about which path you truly want to walk down. Is it the path of apathy or is it the path of principal? Doing the right thing sometimes is the hardest thing but if we become complacent with laws that were put into effect to protect us, we in essence, are only crippling ourselves. I for one don’t want my daughter to have to bear the legacy of weakness and passivity.

  32. Paul French*

    Thanks for the information.

    I live, work and pay taxes in California for a company based in Delaware. My employment contract states that Pennsylvania law would be used to interpret the contract. In this case does California law regarding the final paycheck apply? I ask because I will resign soon. They’ve delayed the final paycheck for two former colleagues; each worked on the east coast. I’m not a lawyer, but I’d assume that California residents are covered by California law. Is my assumption correct?

  33. Prima*

    Two weeks before our pay period I gave my new bank account to our human resources to have straight deposit. When I check my bank if my paycheck went through, it did not. The next day, I called HR, and left message. The next day I called my bank, and my bank told me they return it to my employer. Called again HR, told her what my bank told me. HR return my call and told me, they will process it. So I waited. Since Monday is a holiday, I called again our HR and left message. Never return my call. Same day, because I am so upset, I called our executive director regarding my paycheck. Executive director told me they called our regional HR and waiting their response. I am waiting for days, week and this coming Friday is our pay period again. Called HR again and left message. I called our regional HR and left message. My question is, how long is the process?

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