Can an employer tell you that your termination day will be on a certain day in the future but then that today is your last working day?

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Can an employer tell you that your termination day will be on a certain day in the future but then that today is your last working day?

I was told the entire department was shutting down on 04/23 so that was everyone’s last working day since everyone was being laid off. However, they also said that the termination day wouldn’t be until today. I assumed everyone would be paid for that time in between since we cannot file for unemployment until the termination day. Well turns out we did not get paid for that time between the last working day and termination day. Is this legal? Does this subject them to the waiting period penalty? Why would they be able to push off the termination day for over a week if theyre not paying us for that time? EDD requires a 1 week waiting period on top of this so it does not seem fair.

Asked on May 1, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

You are terminated when they stop paying you--that is, when they will no longer pay you for the work (if they will pay you but you are awaiting the next payday to receive the check or payment, that is different; as long as you will be paid in due course for your work, you are still employed). It does not matter what they consider the termination date: from the moment they refused to pay you for your work, you were terminated, since there is NO legal right to make people work for free, and termination (like resignation) can be done by actions as well as by words.


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