You do not have to sign anything to receive your paycheck and it is unlawful for an employer to require you to do so. Tell the employer if they do not give you your check immediately, you will file a claim with the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement and seek to have waiting time penalties imposed against them for not giving you your check. It could cost them another 30 days' pay. Do this in writing.
They say you get what you pay for, and this response is free, so take it for what it is worth. This is my opinion based on very limited information. My opinion should not be taken as legal advice. For true advice, we would require a confidential consultation where I would ask you questions and get your complete story. This is a public forum, so remember, nothing here is confidential. Nor am I your attorney. I do not know who you are and you have not hired me to provide any legal service. To do so would require us to meet and sign written retainer agreement. My responses are intended for general information only.
No, you do not have to sign anything to receive your final paycheck. Attorney Kirschbaum's response is absolutely correct.
Frank W. Chen has been licensed to practice law in California since 1988. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice for a particular case. This Avvo.com posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, please consult with your own attorney.
If you quit without giving at least 72 hours' notice, your former employer needed to have your check ready for you to pick up within 72 hours. If you gave at least 72 hours' notice, they needed to have your final paycheck ready on your last day of employment. However, if you left the state and did not pick it up or ask that it be mailed, they did not have to do anything but have the check ready on time for you to pick up. They cannot hold the check until you sign anything. No one can "make" you sign anything. Call an employment law attorney. If they refused to give your check to you when you finally went in to pick it up, you are owed wages due plus one day's pay for each day you have to wait for the check - up to 30 days PLUS attorneys' fees if you retain counsel. Many of us offer a free initial phone consultation and take these matters with no cost to the client. 949-481-6909.