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socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
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Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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Can an employer release a final pay check to a spouse without

Resolved Question:

Can an employer release a final pay check to a spouse without written notification from the employee?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  socrateaser replied 4 years ago.
There is no specific law governing this issue. Under Cal. Labor Code 202(a), "If an employee not having a written contract for a definite period quits his or her employment, his or her wages shall become due and payable not later than 72 hours thereafter, unless the employee has given 72 hours previous notice of his or her intention to quit, in which case the employee is entitled to his or her wages at the time of quitting. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an employee who quits without providing a 72-hour notice shall be entitled to receive payment by mail if he or she so requests and designates a mailing address. The date of the mailing shall constitute the date of payment for purposes of the requirement to provide payment within 72 hours of the notice of quitting."

The law states that the employee can designate payment to an address by mail, rather than by personal delivery to the employee. The reasonable inference is that delivery by mail, if the employee requests it, is the only option other than personal delivery. I doubt that a court would find that personal delivery to an authorized agent of the employee would violate the law, because this is a common use of agency representation.

However, a spouse is not automatically the agent of his or her spouse. The spouse would need some written authorization signed by the employee, the same as would any other agent.

Hope this helps.

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