Waiting time penalties in California are financial penalties imposed on employers who have shown a failure to pay wages and final wages to employees who are ending his or her employment. A waiting time penalty is meant to incentivize employers to provide payment of wages in a timely manner and deliver a final paycheck promptly when employees leave their jobs.
- When Does a Waiting Time Penalty Apply?: A waiting time penalty typically comes into play when an employee is terminated, quits, or resigns, and the employer willfully fails to provide the final paycheck and/or payment of wages at the time of separation as required by California labor code.
- Timing for Final Paycheck: Under the California labor code, if an employee is terminated or laid off and they are owed unpaid wages, the employer is generally required to provide the final paycheck and/or final payment of his or her wages, including all earned wages and accrued vacation time, on the employee’s last day of work. If an employee resigns with at least 72 hours’ notice, the final paycheck is due on the last day worked. If the employee resigns without 72 hours’ notice, the paycheck is due within 72 hours of resignation. Failure to pay final wages can result in waiting time penalties.
- Waiting Time Penalties: If an employer fails to provide the final paycheck, or final wages, on time, waiting time penalties may be imposed. Waiting time penalties accrue at the daily rate of the employee’s average daily earnings for each day the final paycheck is late, up to a maximum of 30 days.For example, if an employee’s daily rate of pay is $100 and the final paycheck is delayed by 10 days, the waiting time penalty would be $1,000 (10 days x $100/day).
- Maximum Penalty Duration: The waiting time penalties can be imposed for unpaid final wages for up to a maximum of 30 calendar days, even if the delay in payment continues beyond that period.
- Good Faith Disputes: If the employer has a good faith dispute over the amount of unpaid wages due (with disputes over unpaid commissions, for example), the employer is still required to timely pay the undisputed wages. Waiting time penalties may apply only to the undisputed portion of the wage claim.
In order to avoid paying a waiting time penalty, it’s important for employers to ensure that they pay final wages in accordance with California law. Timely and accurate payment of final wages is crucial for both compliance with the regulations of the California labor code and the fair treatment of employees. Employees who believe their final wages were not been paid in accordance with the law can file a complaint with the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement or seek legal advice with an employment attorney. Mr. Justice’s team of powerful employment lawyers at Lawyers for Justice, PC enforce final pay rules, federal fair labor standards, and fight for employees with unpaid wages.
Call (818) JUSTICE today for a FREE consultation to speak to a our team about your final wages dispute.
Waiting Time Penalties in California – FAQ
can i sue for not getting paid on time? Yes. If you are owed unpaid wages, you can file an unpaid final wages lawsuit against your employer (or former employer) to recover unpaid wages, in addition to possibly other damages provided by law. An employer who exhibits a failure to pay final wages, or who pays late wages, is in violation of California wage and hour laws. And thus, they are subject to a wage and hour lawsuit.
how to calculate waiting time penalties in california? The waiting time penalty is measured by multiplying the employee’s daily rate of pay by the number of days that the employee was not paid, up to a maximum of 30 days.
how to file waiting time penalty california? Thinking about filing a waiting time penalty on wages owed to you? You can either file a wage claim with the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (the Labor Commissioner’s Office), or call a final wages attorney to bring a case against your former employer to recover the wages owed to you. In the latter case, the employment lawyer can help you claim the waiting time penalty for final paychecks.
can my employer pay me late? In most jurisdictions, including California, employers are legally required to pay wages immediately on the scheduled payday for each pay period. Late payment of wages can result in waiting time penalties. Failure to pay in a timely manner may also be a violation of state or federal wage and hour laws.