When Employers Must Pay Fired or Quitting Employees in California?

If you’re an employee in California who has been fired or has quit your job, you may be wondering when your employer is required to pay you. The answer depends on several factors, including the terms of your employment contract and state and federal laws. In this blog post, we’ll explore when employers in California must pay fired or quitting employees.

Payment upon termination:

In California, employers must pay employees their final wages upon termination. This includes any unpaid wages, accrued vacation time or paid time off, and other benefits earned by the employee but still need to be paid. Employers must provide the final paycheck on the same day as termination or within 72 hours if the employee quits without giving 72 hours’ notice.

Payment upon resignation:

Generally, employers in California are not required to pay employees for unused vacation time or paid time off when they resign. However, if the employment contract or company policy provides for such payments, the employer must honor those terms. Additionally, if an employee provides at least 72 hours notice of their intention to resign, the employer must pay the final wages on the last day of work.


There are some exceptions to the general rules above. For example, if an employee is terminated for cause, such as misconduct or violating company policies, the employer may not be required to pay any additional wages or benefits. Similarly, if an employee quits without giving proper notice or violates company policies, the employer may withhold certain wages or benefits as allowed by law.

It’s worth noting that California law also requires employers to provide employees with accurate itemized wage statements and to maintain payroll records for at least three years. If an employer fails to comply with these requirements or violates wage and hour laws, they may be subject to penalties and legal action.

In conclusion, understanding when employers must pay fired or quitting employees is critical to protecting your legal rights as an employee in California. However, navigating the complexities of employment law can be challenging and overwhelming. This is where an experienced employment lawyer like Jonny Law can make a significant difference. Hiring a knowledgeable attorney can help you understand your legal rights, advocate for your interests, and ensure you receive the compensation you’re entitled to. With the guidance and support of Jonny Law, you can navigate the legal process with confidence and focus on getting back on your feet. If you’re facing issues related to unpaid wages or benefits, it’s essential to consult with an experienced employment lawyer like Jonny Law to protect your rights and livelihood.

What do you think?