Getting The Final Paycheck If You’re Fired

When an employee is unexpectedly terminated by the Employer, the employer must pay the employee all the employee’s unpaid, earned wages immediately. This is in accordance with California Labor Code Section 201). This paycheck made to the employee must include the wages he/she has earned for the days until the last day at work, along with unused/accrued vacation time. If there is any other payment like payment for overtime or unlawfully deducted wages that are due, the employer has to pay them to the employee. If not, the employer may have to pay a penalty.

To make things clear about the unpaid payments, unpaid final payment in california – a guide will be of much help to the public. Here are few scenarios that you need to know.


If the employee is suspended as a means to avoid the final pay requirement, then it has to be treated as discharge from work. The employer has to make final payment in this case. But, the employees can be suspended without pay if it doesn’t end in termination or if he/she is suspended pending investigation. In such cases, though, the employer will have to show proof of the investigation.

Laid Off Temporarily

If the layoff doesn’t specify a return date, then wages until the suspension date should be paid in full on the layoff day. In case the employee returns to work within that period, then the wages can be disbursed on the regular payday.

Two Employers

If an employee works for two employers jointly, then both the employers are responsible for making the final payment within the stipulated period.

Seasonal Workers

Seasonal Workers are entitled to final payment in full. It doesn’t matter whether they return to work for the next season or not.

Some Exceptions

When the employee works in a location away from the employer’s main head office (like drilling industries), then there is an exception. But even in such situations, the wages should be paid maximum within 24 hours from the date of termination. For seasonal employment that too in the food packing and preparation industry, the employers can take up to 3 days after layoff to settle the final paycheck.