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3 Bounced Paychecks then laid off... please help in California

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  • 3 Bounced Paychecks then laid off... please help in California

    And advice is sincerely appreciated...

    My employer bounced 3 of my paychecks and then when I complained about the last two said... "by the way Friday is your last day." (Clearly it was unreasonable to ask me to continue to work when he couldn't pay me, so i didn't go back.) He has spent the last two weeks saying he will take care of the checks and then not doing anything about it, including not paying my final paycheck. He currently owes me a month and a half of pay. I have the company laptop, which I would be happy to return, but just want to get paid!

    So here are my questions...
    1. Since I have not been paid in almost 2 months now i can't pay my bills or rent or anything. I have filed with the DLSE, but how long will it take to get paid?
    2. Will seperate penalties accrue for each of the 3 paychecks that are unpaid?
    3. One of the checks I never deposited becaase that bank said there were no funds. Do I need to deposit it anyways just to show that I tried?
    4. He sent me an invoice (seriously) for "rent" on the laptop- that is ridiculous, but can I get in trouble for holding this until I am paid?

    thank you anyone who can help, I really just don't know what to do.

  • #2
    File a complaint with the DOL
    http://www.parentnook.com/forum/

    Comment


    • #3
      And return all company property.

      Comment


      • #4
        1. Unfortunately, depending on where you filed, it could likely take 6-9 months to go to a hearing. Hearings should happen much quicker (by law) but they many times do not.
        2. That's a good question and I'm actually not quite sure. I'm thinking it might.
        3. That would probably be a good idea.
        4. As far as it negating the 203 penalties, no. But there could be other "trouble" (possibly criminal) if you refuse to return the property.
        "The most patriotic people in America are the working class" - Cecil Roberts - President UMWA

        Comment


        • #5
          In this case, I recommend that you see an employment attorney. Initial consultation should be free and attorney's fees can be added to the claim. If the employer is in enough trouble to have bounced that many checks, he may not be around by the time DLSE gets to your case. If an attorney wants to charge you fees or a retainer up front, or will not add his fees to the claim, talk to another attorney. Return the laptop immediately to keep your hands clean - get a receipt from whoever you turn it in to, or they may claim that you never turned it in. Make sure to erase any personal or non-business files that you may have on it. Clear all temporary internet files, etc. If you want to try to cash the other check, go to his bank to do it; don't deposit it at yours. Make a copy of it first, just in case they happen to cash it. 30 days max penalty at your rate of pay; multiple bounced checks don't change that.
          Last edited by Scott67; 01-22-2010, 07:16 PM.
          Please post questions on the forum rather than sending me a private message or email. That way others who have similar issues have access to the discussion.

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          • #6
            Multiple bounced checks won't change the 30 day maximum, however multiple bounced checks may give rise to several separate waiting time penalty claims. Each of which could arguably accrue separately.
            "The most patriotic people in America are the working class" - Cecil Roberts - President UMWA

            Comment


            • #7
              NOT my area of expertise, but CA and most other states consider bouncing a check an offense unrelated to the late payment aspects. The following may or may not be of use.

              http://www.co.marin.ca.us/depts/DA/m...s/BadCheck.cfm
              "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
              Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

              Comment


              • #8
                California applies waiting time penalties to bad checks during the regular course of employment.

                203.1. If an employer pays an employee in the regular course of
                employment or in accordance with Section 201, 201.3, 201.5, 201.7, or
                202 any wages or fringe benefits, or both, by check, draft or
                voucher, which check, draft or voucher is subsequently refused
                payment because the employer or maker has no account with the bank,
                institution, or person on which the instrument is drawn, or has
                insufficient funds in the account upon which the instrument is drawn
                at the time of its presentation, so long as the same is presented
                within 30 days of receipt by the employee of the check, draft or
                voucher, those wages or fringe benefits, or both, shall continue as a
                penalty from the due date thereof at the same rate until paid or
                until an action therefor is commenced. However, those wages and
                fringe benefits shall not continue for more than 30 days and this
                penalty shall not apply if the employer can establish to the
                satisfaction of the Labor Commissioner or an appropriate court of law
                that the violation of this section was unintentional. This penalty
                also shall not apply in any case in which an employee recovers the
                service charge authorized by Section 1719 of the Civil Code in an
                action brought by the employee thereunder.
                "The most patriotic people in America are the working class" - Cecil Roberts - President UMWA

                Comment


                • #9
                  Agreed, but my understanding is that in addition to anything that occurs under CA labor law that writing a bad check violates non labor laws as well. Which is why I included a pointer that discussed these other non-labor laws.
                  "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
                  Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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