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Brandon, Esq.
Brandon, Esq., Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 1753
Experience:  Has received a certificate of recognition from the California State Senate for his outstanding legal service.
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California Vacation payout after last day: My company underpaid

Customer Question

California Vacation payout after last day:

My company underpaid (64.25 hours) when I was expecting more (75-80.30 hours of payout). I had to send a copy of my paycheck to hr verifying the owed more before they would cut me another check. They paid out for 78 hours total. But my pays tub states they still owe 3 hours-this is in line with the total 120 hours of vacation I earned. Hr says they don't owe me more and will find out why I still show a balance of 3 hours...that they "gave me the benefit of the doubt" before and won't payout more vacation. I am now in the second week since employment ended.

My question is, can they deny payout if my pay stub says I have 3 hours vacation remaining?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Brandon, Esq. replied 11 months ago.

Employment-LawExpert :

Hello and thank you for your question today

Employment-LawExpert :

Are you online with me?

Employment-LawExpert :

Welcome to the chat

Employment-LawExpert :

You mention that you were expecting more hours for your vacation payout. Do you believe the discrepancy was simply an error in the printout? Or do you believe you had earned the vacation time?

Customer: The 78 hours seem to match what I have figured which is 117 hours out of 120 hours a year. We also have a maximum roll over of 15days so it's possible that I have three more hours owed to me. I would have to go back and calculate last years roll over amount.
Customer: I took one vacation earlier in the year for 39 hours...
Employment-LawExpert :

So, in California, you are owed to be paid out for all vacation hours earned (minus those used). If you are being refused any additional time, it would be wise to go back and calculate these hours. You can also ask HR why they think you are not owed the additional three hours. If you can look at the amount owed, there is a very easy fix to this. You would simply need to make sure to make a claim with the DLSE for unpaid wages and you would get paid out the amount, as well as a waiting time penalty for every day they do not pay you.

Employment-LawExpert :

this can be done here:

Employment-LawExpert :

http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/howtofilewageclaim.htm

Employment-LawExpert :

Here is more information concerning the law

Employment-LawExpert :

http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/faq_vacation.htm

Customer: Until I sent the copy of my last pay stub she was only going to pay me 64 hours because some system said this which is not accurate. At that time my pay stub said 75 hours owed before 1 week of work . She felt that cutting me a check for 78 would be more than enough to cover the last week worked so that is what they did. If they send me a new pays tub with 3 hours remaining after that, don't they have to pay it?
Employment-LawExpert :

Mistake is not a defense to not paying you. Paying you "more than enough" is not a sufficient reason to not pay you. Just because the system is not accurate does not mean it is not owed to you, and it will result in the waiting time penalty which is equal to a full days pay for you for every day you are not paid.

Employment-LawExpert :

the only option where they would not have to pay you would be if there was a mistake in the printout

Employment-LawExpert :

where you only actually earned a certain amount, and they accidentally put more.

Customer: that is what I thought. I'll go back and calculate my pay stubs. Do you think I should mentioned to hr the potential waiting period penalty-or they should know this....
Employment-LawExpert :

even if they know this they wont bring it up.

Employment-LawExpert :

however, you can mention it, and state if they don't want to do anything else, then you will file a claim with the DLSE and get waiting time penalties and liquidated damages. It may be enough to get them to look up the law and pay you.

Employment-LawExpert :

Or you can provide them with the link I gave you about vacation law in California.

Customer: okay. Thank you.
Employment-LawExpert :

Does that fully answer your question today? If not, please do not hesitate to ask any other questions you have especially if you need clarification on anything i have said. I strive to provide excellent service, so I want to make sure that you feel you have been provided that before you leave today.

Customer: I think so. I guess my only concern is with the semantics of they payroll system and in dealing with hr. I don't appreciate the tone she's taking with me-its like she's done me a favor paying out the correct amount. I will deal with her.
Employment-LawExpert :

Like I said before, you can always just file an unpaid wage claim with the DLSE and they will take care of all of this for you.

Employment-LawExpert :

Of course, if you'd rather deal with her and hopefully get paid tomorrow, that is entirely your choice.

Employment-LawExpert :

That is why these laws exist, to protect people just like you. If you do not require any further assistance, I would be most grateful if you would remember to provide my service a positive rating, as this is the only way I will receive credit for assisting you.

Employment-LawExpert :

Have a wonderful rest of your day.

Customer: Thank you.
Brandon, Esq., Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 1753
Experience: Has received a certificate of recognition from the California State Senate for his outstanding legal service.
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