If you are fired how long does the employer have to pay you?

Asked over 2 years ago - Barstow, CA

I was fired last friday but my payn period ended last wednesday and my employer has not yet paid me around $500 inb wages . Is this legal?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Daniel Paul Stevens

    Contributor Level 7


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Nope, an employer must pay your final wages at the time of your termination The good news is that there is significant penalties for paying late. I recommend you file a complaint with the labor commissioner. If that doesn't work out then it's time to consult an attorney.

    This answer does not create an attorney client relationship. It is not legal advice and is intended for... more
  2. Frank Wei-Hong Chen

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . No, it is not legal. In California, an employee who is discharged must be paid all of his or her wages, including accrued vacation, immediately at the time of termination. (Labor Code Sections 201 and 227.3.)

    Under California Labor Code §203, an employer may be liable for a “waiting time” penalty of up to 30 days of pay for the employer’s willful failure to pay wages due a discharged or quitting employee.

    The penalty applies to the willful failure to pay "any wages," which refers to the definition of "wages" in California Labor Code Section 200.

    The penalty is measured at the employee’s daily rate of pay and is calculated by multiplying the daily wage by the number of days that the employee was not paid, up to a maximum of 30 days.

    For additional information regarding waiting time penalties in California, go to the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement's website at:


    Frank W. Chen has been licensed to practice law in California since 1988. The information presented here is... more
  3. Kevin Samuel Sullivan


    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . A terminated employee is entitled to be paid at time of termination. If you are not paid at this time you are entitled to waiting time penalties for up to 30 days.

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