California Employment Law

Have California Employment Law Questions? Ask a Lawyer.

Ask a Lawyer,
Get an Answer ASAP!

California Employment Law
This answer was rated:

Part time employee quits without prior notice. Hourly paycheck

Part time employee quits without...
Part time employee quits without prior notice. Hourly paycheck still paid for the pay period and given to the employee when they left the building since it happened to coincide with the last day worked. But the employer was unaware that the employee planned never to return. So employee was paid partially for the pay period. After employee left it was discovered that the employee had not done any work during the pay period and made up tasks completed that had nothing to do with their job position. Is the employer still facing a penalty if the final reconciliation check was sent at 31 days due to an investigation of the work performed, and the hours were properly reported whether or not they were performing their job.
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own California Employment Law Question
Answered in 4 minutes by:
7/10/2013
Patrick, Esq.
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 13,404
Experience: Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
Verified
Good evening and thank you for entrusting me to answer your question. I will do everything I can to assist you.

I think I am having a little difficulty understanding the situation. If the employee received an hourly paycheck for the last pay period on their final day, then what amount was left for the employer to pay?

What do you mean by paid "partially for the pay period"?

Lastly, in the end, did it turn out that the employee actually DID work the hours but investigation into this fact is what led to the delayed last payment?

If you would be so kind as to clarify these points for me that would allow me to provide the best possible answer to your question. Thank you so much for your patience and assistance. I very much look forward to helping you on this matter.
Ask Your Own California Employment Law Question
Customer reply replied 4 years ago

Partially paid because 1) the hourly rate had to be adjusted and 2) taxes had not been taken out of the check for $450. When I gave this check to employee I had no idea she was quitting. (she claimed I fired her too). I gave her this check under the belief I was paying her for the second pay period, not the first.


 


Yes, as it turned out she did work the hours. Work is a loose term. She presented her duties which were completely fabricated and not even applicable to her job description. Are we employers basically obligated to pay hourly rates even though they are not working whatsoever? Our only recourse is firing the employee? We are not able to reduce payment based on failure to perform?

Cathy,

Thank you so much for your reply and clarification.

You are correct that employers must pay for all time worked, regardless of whether it is productive or the employee is "slacking off" on the job. There is an important public policy behind this general principle, which is that if employee wages were subject to reduction if they did not work hard enough, that would effectively give employers carte blanche authority to retroactively adjust wages, rendering most wage agreements meaningless.

I certainly appreciate your concern and frustration in the present instance and agree it is unfair to require payment made to an employee who was not performing, but to permit a reduction in this instance would leave the door open to abuse and undermine the very purpose of wage agreements on a broader scale. Thus, the only instance in which an employee may be denied pay is if actual time card fraud is suspected (i.e., the employee didn't even show up to work and simply wrote down non-worked hours) Otherwise, the employer's sole recourse is termination.

As far as the payment of final wages is concerned, employees who quit must be paid within 72 hours of their notice of intent to quit, and employees who are fired must be paid immediately. However, wages that are subject to legitimate dispute are NOT subject to the penalty assesment for untimely payment. See Amaral v. Cintas Corp. No. 2, 163 Cal. App. 4th 1157 (2008) (finding "a good faith dispute that any wages are due will preclude imposition of waiting time penalties under Section 203.")

Thus, if you had denied payment of additional wages due to a legitimate suspicion of timecard fraud, no penalties would attach. However, if you simply denied payment because you didn't think their work warranted it (understandable on a personal level, but simply not in compliance with the law), the waiting time penalty would unfortunately apply.

Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.

If you do not require any further assistance, please be so kind as to provide a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you. Very best wishes to you and thank you so much for coming to Just Answer.

Ask Your Own California Employment Law Question
Customer reply replied 4 years ago

Hi again - actually the employee never directly quit to me (owner), store manager or anyone else. It was not in writing. Her boyfriend wrote an email advising it the morning after her last day. When I received an email from her a week later she denied even knowing about her boyfriend's email. She stated she was replying to an email I had sent her directly. She did not directly contact anyone; we received notice a week or so later advising she had file a claim for unemployment because she had been fired.


 


Am I grasping at straws?!

Cathy,

Thank you very much for your reply and please forgive my delay in getting back to you, but I wasn't anywhere near a computer for most of yesterday.

You are not grasping at straws here. The precise timing of when an employee quits is a "question of fact," meaning it is subject to interpretation based on the unique facts of the situation. If you can argue that you were not reasonably put on notice that this employee had quit until you received notice of her unemployment benefits, then you can argue that the waiting time penalties would not begin to accrue until that point in time. This may result in less money owed in waiting time penalties, assuming you owe any at all based on my analysis of the law set forth above.

Put another way, arguing that you didn't know she quit would not in itself get you out of waiting time penalties in their entirety, but you may be able to argue that they did not begin to accrue until you were reasonably put on notice of her quitting, which was not until you received actual notice of her UI claim because before that her status of employment was unclear.

Again, please feel free to let me know if you have any further concerns. If I have answered your question, I would be very grateful for a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you.

Kindest regards XXXXX XXXXX you so much for coming to Just Answer.
Patrick, Esq.
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 13,404
Experience: Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
Verified
Patrick, Esq. and 87 other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Ask your own question now
Ask Patrick, Esq. Your Own Question
Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 13,404
13,404 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Significant experience in all areas of employment law.

Patrick, Esq. is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises!

Gary B.Edmond, OK

My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer.

EricRedwood City, CA

I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight.

MichaelWichita, KS

PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent.

Three H.Houston, TX

Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!!

ElaineAtlanta, GA

It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem.

TonyApopka, FL

Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help.

Mary C.Freshfield, Liverpool, UK

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

LawTalk

LawTalk

Attorney

1,285 satisfied customers

I have 30 years of experience in the practice of law, including employment law and discrimination law.

Tina

Tina

Attorney

923 satisfied customers

JD, 17 years experience & recognized by ABA for excellence in employment law.

Brandon, Esq.

Brandon, Esq.

Lawyer

348 satisfied customers

Has received a certificate of recognition from the California State Senate for his outstanding legal service.

melissamesq

melissamesq

Attorney

47 satisfied customers

Represent clients to maximum recovery in employment cases.

legalg

legalg

Other

35 satisfied customers

General Practitioner. Research Attorney

Roy Hadavi

Roy Hadavi

11 satisfied customers

Attorney at Law Offices of Rosenstein & Associates

Attorney2020

Attorney2020

Lawyer.

69 satisfied customers

I have significant experience in employment law.

< Previous | Next >

Related California Employment Law Questions
I live in Los Angeles and I have a some job conserns,
I live in Los Angeles and I have a some job conserns … read more
Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq.
Attorney
Juris Doctor
18,406 satisfied customers
I am the manager at my family business and had a customer
I am the manager at my family business and had a customer write a check that bounced I would like to help from a lawyer to recover funds of $18k … read more
Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq.
Attorney
Juris Doctor
18,406 satisfied customers
I have a question, I'm getting a job at a company and they
I have a question, I'm getting a job at a company and they are offering me options. However they are not telling me strike price. Should I be concerned? … read more
Asad Rahman
Asad Rahman
Attorney
J.D.
2,303 satisfied customers
I am a Case Manager for developmentally disabled clients and
I am a Case Manager for developmentally disabled clients and am required to travel from each of my clients house within the county and spend 2 to 3-hours with each one. I drive my personal car and am … read more
Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq.
Lawyer
13,404 satisfied customers
I have a question on W2 employee and W2 contractor. I am
I have a question on W2 employee and W2 contractor. … read more
Roy Hadavi
Roy Hadavi
Juris Doctorate
11 satisfied customers
How soon can I get a response from an employment lawyer. CA.
hello how soon can I get a response from an employment lawyer … read more
PaulmoJD
PaulmoJD
Attorney At Law
Doctoral Degree
106 satisfied customers
My husband works for a company that has a Union Contract. At
My husband works for a company that has a Union Contract. At times he is made to work up to 3 weeks straight with no time off. Is this legal? … read more
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
7,440 satisfied customers
This is new to me since I was never before been terminated
Hello, this is new to me since I was never before been terminated this way, only once as a multiple layoff situation. My employer of 27 months, a very successful start up who has grown from a 100 empl… read more
Bill Attorney
Bill Attorney
law
1,612 satisfied customers
I have a question concerning my open California State
I have a question concerning my open California State Disability. … read more
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
7,440 satisfied customers
Marsi I worked for local 324 from 1987 to 1995 they say I am
Hi my name is ***** ***** I worked for local 324 from 1987 to 1995 they say I am short seven to 10 hours to become vested I believe I had a total of 9800 hours but all of my papers burned in Sonoma co… read more
Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq.
Attorney
Juris Doctor
18,406 satisfied customers
I have been called to an investigation meeting with my
I have been called to an investigation meeting with my employer based on a complaint that another employee said i have been rude and condescending for 2 years. The interrogation is on Tuesday. I would… read more
Asad Rahman
Asad Rahman
Attorney
J.D.
2,303 satisfied customers
I was out on pregnancy disability from april 1, 2017- August
I was out on pregnancy disability from april 1, 2017- August 1, 2017, then took 6 weeks of cfra from August 1 to September 12th. … read more
N Cal Atty
N Cal Atty
Doctoral Degree
59 satisfied customers
I suffered a workers comp injury back in 2013 and have
I suffered a workers comp injury back in 2013 and have lifetime medical for psych and my right shoulder here in CA. My case was recently reopened, and I would like to request a service dog again for m… read more
PaulmoJD
PaulmoJD
Attorney At Law
Doctoral Degree
106 satisfied customers
I am looking for an attorney with experience in workers
Hello, I am looking for an attorney with experience in workers compensation … read more
N Cal Atty
N Cal Atty
Doctoral Degree
59 satisfied customers
I am looking for help regarding my job, which is
I am looking for help regarding my job, which is headquartered in California, but I am located in MI … read more
Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq.
Lawyer
13,404 satisfied customers
A company offered a PR position to service their LA and NY
A company offered a PR position to service their LA and NY agencies. The employed mentioned that this position would also be helping their TBD/soon to be launched company. Upon confirming employment, … read more
PaulmoJD
PaulmoJD
Attorney At Law
Doctoral Degree
106 satisfied customers
I have a small California based consulting business. So far,
I have a small California based consulting business. So far, it has been me with no employees on payroll. My first full time employee comes on board next week. I want to make sure I am in compliance w… read more
Asad Rahman
Asad Rahman
Attorney
J.D.
2,303 satisfied customers
I have a Salary employee who did not give her two weeks
Hello-I have a Salary employee who did not give her two weeks notice. Question: Do we have to pay out her accrued PTO and Sick time?… read more
legalg
legalg
Other
Juris Doctorate
35 satisfied customers

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x