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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
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Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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My husband was terminated on 11-8-11 (effective 11-9-11) from

Resolved Question:

My husband was terminated on 11-8-11 (effective 11-9-11) from CA government employer after 22 years. He was a union member. He was not paid for his wages/vac earned upon termination.

Final wages were paid as follows:
> paid on: 11-16-11 (pay period 10-23-11 thru 11-5-11 )
> paid on: 11-30-11 (pay period 11-6-11 thru 11-19-11)

Accrued vacation (331.5 hrs) + OT (9.55) were not paid at time of termination. He was told the vac/OT would be paid at the end of the year. He has not recieved any of these monies to-date.

The above was not discussed with him at time of employer serving termination on 11-8; my husband was advised of this when he contacted the HR dept the following day (11-9) to ask about his termination wage payment.

We have checked with the union rep as well as the union by-laws, and understand the employer should have paid him all monies owed for wages, vacation, and OT at the time of his dismissal.

This appears to be in violation of CA Labor Codes 201; 227.3; 208.

Please confirm/advise next steps.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Hello and thank you for entrusting me to answer your question.

What you describe is not legal. As you have correctly cited, Labor Code 201 provides that all wages must be paid immediately upon the termination of an employee. Further, California law treats vacation pay the same way as it treats other forms of compensation at termination and requires that vested vacation days be paid to the employee immediately upon an employer-initiated termination (or within 72 hours of an employee's resignation.) (Labor Code 201-202) Labor Code 227.3 is very specific on this point. It states: "(A)n employment contract or employer shall not provide for forfeiture of vested vacation time upon termination." See also Suastez v. Plastic Dress-Up Co. (1982) 31 Cal.3d 774, 779.

An individual in this circumstance would need to file a wage claim with California's Department of Labor Standards Enforcement. To file a wage claim with the DLSE, visit this link: http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/howtofilewageclaim.htm

I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX this information helps you and I wish you the very best of luck. Bear in mind that none of the above constitutes legal advice nor is any attorney client relationship created between us.

Please abide by the honor code of this website by kindly clicking on the GREEN ACCEPT button if my answer has been helpful to you. Thank you very much.

Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 7141
Experience: Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
Patrick, Esq. and other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you

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