If I quit my job during a trial period, am I still entitled to be paid?

I was offered a position working for an attorney for a trial period. The only term that was discussed was that I would be paid a specified amount per hour. After 3 days, I determined the position was not a good fit for me. After informing the attorney she refuses to pay me for my time or work claiming now she has to “start over.” Am I still entitled to be paid?

Asked on August 22, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you still entitled to be paid--and the attorney, as an attorney, should know that. All employment is effectively always a "trial period" unless you have an employment contract, since all employment is "employment at will"--you can be fired at any time, for any reason or quit at any time, for any reason. The fact that an employee may quit or be fired does not mean that they are not paid for the work they did. You must be paid for the hours you worked, at the agreed upon rate. If not, you could sue her e.g. in small claims court, acting as your own attorney for the money.


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