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Information on the waiting time penalty

As a worker in the state of California, it is imperative to become familiar with the many employment laws and public policies that are in place.

Full payment of wages to employees, in a prompt manner, is expected in California. To ensure that companies follow all laws in association with the payment of wages upon the termination of employment, the state enacted Labor Code Section 203. In short, this allows for a penalty to be assessed against a company if it fails to pay wages to a worker at the conclusion of an employer-employee relationship.

In order for a waiting time penalty to be assessed, an employer-employee relationship must exist. Furthermore, the employee must have been discharged or quit. This can include being laid off.

The amount of the penalty is based on many factors, including the daily pay rate of the employee. It is calculated by multiplying the days the worker was not paid by his or her daily wage.

If a worker feels he or she is owed money, the employee has the right to file a formal complaint with the state's Division of Labor Standards Enforcement.

Most companies are well aware of the waiting time penalty, which is why they promptly pay any employee leaving the company. Even so, there are times when a company neglects to do so, which forces the former employee to make a decision regarding how he or she will receive full payment. It is good to understand the waiting time penalty, as you deserve to receive any money you earned while working for a previous employer.

Source: State of California, Department of Industrial Relations, "Waiting time penalty," accessed May. 12, 2015

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