Lay Off and Final Paycheck

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Lay Off and Final Paycheck

I am a Nurse and was laid off here in California on Friday 1/13/2017. We were
represented by Union, SEIU Local 2015. The employer paid final check on same day
but failed to include in my check the 1 week severance amount. I telephoned the
GM today, Monday 1/16 and left a message stating that my 1 week severance amount
was not included in my check. Am I entitled to levy a penalty against employer if
they fail to pay me ‘all’ monies within 72 hours of lay-off? How do I go about
asking them for the penalty amount for each day they fail to pay me my promised
severance amount?

Asked on January 16, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Absent a union agreement or employment contract that stipulates just when severance should be paid out, there is no legally mandated timeframe in which it must be paid. The fact is that since severance is not legally required to be given, so to the extent that it is provided, an employer has a great deal of discretion over it, including the timing as to when it is paid.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, there is no penalty for failing to pay severance on time, since severance is not required by law--it may be something the employer voluntarily chooses to pay, or something negotiated, or even in a contract (like a union agreement), but it's not required by the law itself, and the law does not provide a penalty for late payment. All you can do is sue the employer for the actual amount of agreed-upon severance which they have failed to provide.


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