You should be able to recover whatever extra you paid in taxes when you file your tax returns and get a refund.
Another issue is whether you were paid all your final wages including any accrued vacation time on your final day of employment? In California, an employer cannot wait even one day to pay an employee that it terminates. If you weren't paid on time then you have a wage and hour claim and should speak with an employment lawyer.
An employer is supposed to withhold taxes from your paycheck in accordance with the wishes you state in your W-4. However, a failure by the employer to do so once is a very minor infraction that would not be worth making a big deal about. You will not pay more or less taxes as a result of the issue. The government will simply be able to hold a little of your money longer than it otherwise would have.
Good luck to you.
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For nearly all types of legal actions, one must have suffered some kind of harm. It sounds like the employer was in a rush to get you your final check and made a mistake. But even if the error was intentional, you haven't actually been harmed because the amount of taxes will be adjusted when you file your income tax.
twitter.com/MikaSpencer *** All legal actions have time limits, called statutes of limitation. If you miss the deadline for filing your claim, you will lose the opportunity to pursue your case. Please consult with an experienced employment attorney as soon as possible to better preserve your rights. *** Marilynn Mika Spencer provides information on Avvo as a service to the public, primarily when general information may be of assistance. Avvo is not an appropriate forum for an in-depth response or a detailed analysis. These comments are for information only and should not be considered legal advice. Legal advice must pertain to specific, detailed facts. No attorney-client relationship is created based on this information exchange. *** Marilynn Mika Spencer is licensed to practice law before all state and federal courts in California, and can appear before administrative agencies throughout the country. She is eligible to represent clients in other states on a pro hac vice basis. ***