Remember: A termination is (usually) a termination and we have RULES in California about that!

In California, when an employee is involuntarily terminated, all wages earned (including earned commissions and bonuses) and all accrued paid time off (vacation or PTO) must be paid out at termination.

When these amounts are not paid at termination, the employer must pay waiting time penalties. These can be costly – a full days’ wage for every day any of those monies are unpaid, up to thirty calendar days.

If a California employer lays off an employee without a return date within the pay period (or “furloughs” the employee or “sends them home without an expected return date because of a Stay at Home / Shelter in Place order”), the final pay rules are triggered.

The Labor Commissioner’s policy is that if there is a return date within the pay period and the employee is scheduled to return to work, the wages may be paid at the next regular pay day (and the payment rule isn’t triggered).

These are complicated issues given the Stay at Home orders (county and state). Be sure to check with legal counsel to help you navigate them.

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