The day an employee leaves their job can be a very emotional experience, even if the employee is leaving the job by choice. It is often much more so if an employee is being fired or laid off for lack of work. It makes sense, in a world where most people work paycheck to paycheck. When a job is ending, people often wonder where their next month’s rent is coming from and whether or not they’re eligible to collect unemployment.
Too often, an employer will ask an employee to sign something on this day. And employees will sign it, sometimes without even reading it, believing it is necessary to get their final paycheck. Often, they are very concerned about what their employer will say to prospective employers who call and ask about their job performance and behavior. Sometimes, employees will sign anything just because they want things to be gotten over with.
However, employees should carefully read anything they’re asked to sign regarding their employment, especially at the end of their job. The employer could be trying to get the employee to agree they have been paid everything they are owed, or even waiving their rights to sue in exchange for a small severance payment.
Labor Code 206 and 206.5 may protect employees in this situation. Labor Code Section 206.5 clearly states that an employer cannot require an employee to sign a release in order to get paid. Violation of this section can be a misdemeanor, and it covers claims regarding wages due or about to become due. Labor Code Section 206 states that in any dispute over wages, the employer shall pay the undisputed amount due within the required time limits. Triple damages can sometimes be recovered in this situation under the code. This section also provides that the employee still has the right to bring a lawsuit over disputed amounts paid, even if the employer pays the undisputed amount.
One thing an employee shouldn’t have to worry about is whether or not they’ve been paid all their wages, especially when they’re in a precarious situation to begin with.The materials on this Internet site have been prepared by the Law Offices of Michael L. Carver for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice or legal services. Information you submit is confidential. Your use of this Website does not create an attorney-client relationship between the Law Offices of Michael L. Carver, or their attorneys, and you. You should not act upon any information provided over the Internet without seeking professional legal advice. This website should not be viewed as an offer to perform legal services in any jurisdiction. The law referenced in this site is applicable in California only. The name of the lawyer responsible for this website is Michael L. Carver. Copyright (c) 1999-2013 Law Offices of Michael L. Carver. All rights reserved. Revision date 10.30.13