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Patrick, Esq.
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Category: California Employment Law
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Hello... I have a question. I became employed by a company

Resolved Question:

I have a question. I became employed by a company in August of this year as an RSP/case manager for Total education Solutions. My contract states that I can work up to 25 hours per week. For the first two months, I was working 25 hours per week. My hours became less and less. I started getting harrassed by my boss...being called names after working all hours of the night, being lied to, etc. In order to get paid, I had to bill the company for hours online. All of a sudden my boss came up with excuses for not paying me for certain hours. To this day, I haven't been paid for certain hours. I was told to give back files I have on my students but not told why. I feel like a big secret is being kept from me or they are trying to secretly push me out. As of 12-12-2011, I haven't worked one hour. No one has called me to say I have been laid off. No one has done anything. My boss who I speak of no longer works for the company (as of 12-29-2011). Do I have a job with them? I have no idea. I tried to file for unemployment but I received a letter stating that I won't get anything. Is there anything I can do or what should I do. I haven't contacted Total Education Solutions since 12-12-2011. I have never seen anything like this before.

Thank you,
Stephanie McNulla
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 4 years ago.
Hello and thank you for entrusting me to answer your question.

An employer is required to pay an employee for all hours that the employee was "suffered or permitted to work." An employer typically must pay an employee for time they spend working even if they didn't have specific permission to work those hours. Thus, if an employee can demonstrate that they worked particular hours online, even if the employer did not permit them to do so, the employer must typically still pay for that time.

Labor Code 204 states that an employer must pay wages earned between the 1st and 15th days of any calendar month no later than the 26th day of the month during which the labor was performed, and wages earned between the 16th and last day of the month must be paid by the 10th day of the following month. Other payroll periods such as weekly, biweekly or semimonthly when the earning period is something other than between the 1st and 15th, and 16th and last day of the month, must be paid within seven calendar days of the end of the payroll period within which the wages were earned. Read the full text of Labor Code 204 here:

If you are terminated, an employer must pay you all outstanding wages immediately upon termination. (Labor Code 201) Failure to make such payment may result in penalties and fines being assessed against the employer. (Labor Code 203)

Unless you have an employment contract guaranteeing you employment for a specified period of time, you are what is known as an "at will" employee. More specifically, California Labor Code Section 2922 provides that: "employment, having no specified term, may be terminated at the will of either party on notice to the other." Pursuant to section 2922, you are free to leave your job at any tim and in exchange, your employer is free to change the requirements, promote, terminate or demote you as it sees fit and without reason. The reasons need not even be fair.

Accordingly, an employer would typically be within its right to "push you out" even for reasons that were not justified. It would generally be wise to write your employer and inquire as to the current status of your employment.

As soon as you stop receiving wages, you are technically able to file for unemployment, regardless of the fact that you have not expressly been "terminated" by your employer, typically speaking.

You will be eligible to receive benefits provided that you have received enough wages during the base period to establish a claim (either $1300 in one quarter of your "base period," or at least $900 in your highest quarter and total base period earnings of 1.25 times your high quarter earnings), you are physically able and available to immediately accept work, actively seeking work, and unemployed through no fault of your own.

In order to prove that you were terminated through no fault of your own, you typically must demonstrate that you were not terminated as the result of "misconduct." For more information on what constitutes misconduct, visit this link from the EDD:

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.

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