According to California Labour Code Section 202, an employee who resigns from work must be paid all his unpaid, earned wages within 3 days of his resignation date. If an employee gives notice of resignation well before 3 days from the date of resignation, then the employer must process and pay all the wages without any due on the day of resignation. Without any due means, wages for all days worked up to and including the last of work (which also includes any unused vacation time or paid sick leave).
If the wages are mailed to the employee with his consent, then the date of mailing of the wages is considered as the date of payment of wages under the 3-day rule. If the employer is not paying the employee and is not adhering to the state law, it is unlawful and the employee can claim his final paycheck with the help of law.
The final paycheck can be claimed by filing a wage claim with the California Labour Commissioner’s Office or you can get legal advice for getting your final paycheck and file a lawsuit in court.
For filing the wage claim, you can find instructions on how to fill it out and document to attach with the form, etc.
If you are not aware of how to file a claim, or if your wage claim is a complicated one, an experienced wage and hour lawyer will help you and represent you. A lawyer can very well file a wage claim on your behalf in the Labour Commissioner’s office or file a lawsuit in the court. If your case wins in the court, then the employer will pay the fees of your attorney.
But all the above steps need to be done quickly. In California, up to 3 years’ time is given to file a lawsuit against the employer based on the violation they have made in your final paycheck. The time limit is the same for claiming penalties. If the lawsuit is filed on a contract, then the employee has 4 years to sue the employer in court. But it is always better to claim the owed unpaid wages as early as possible.