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Termination - Employee in Jail California

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  • Termination - Employee in Jail California

    We plan to terminate an employee on Monday per the terms of our attendance policy. The employee is currently in jail and will likely be there until trial (and after). How do I go about issuing a final check and seperation paperwork?

    Do we just administratively terminate him and wait for him to come in for his final pay, which may never happen. He is due PTO & vacation, plus hours worked.

    Any help on this would be appreciated.

  • #2
    Having actually been through this in CA in the 1980s, issue the check and hold it. Write a letter to the employee (in care of the jail) and ask for instructions. You can call up the jail and ask how to send mail to the employee (this worked when I tried it). And this type of question seemed to be very familar to the people I talked to.

    You want to issue the check now so there is no question that you were not fully prepared to comply with CA's wage termination laws. If someone shows up with adequate documentation for release of the check, a "come back tomorrow" answer could get you subject to CA's late payment penalty. I had the jailed employee try this. We were able to show CA-DLSE that we issued the check in a timely manner, that we contacted the jail in a timely manner, and sent the letter to the jail in a timely manner. CA-DLSE turned down the employee's request for late payment penalties.

    If you fail to get instructions, the funds will eventually escheat to the state.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)


    • #3
      Should I send a letter today saying if you fail to return to work by Monday 3/29/10 that you will be terminated?

      Or just send the letter on Monday and explain that per terms of company's attendance policy you are being terminated. A final check has been issued and we will wait instruction on where check should be sent or to whom the check should be given?

      Should it be sent registered w/ return reciept?

      Thanks this is a first for us.


      • #4
        I have not actually read any of your company's policies. I would be inclined to just wait until the policy has actually violated, then send a termination letter. Now, this assumes that your company has that type of policy.

        The problems I have with a "show up or else letter" is that you know darn well that the employee cannot show up. It looks like you are playing games. Past that, the employee will of course send a response letter and then you still have to pull the trigger. Why bother?

        Regarding the nature of the letter, some type of proof of delivery is always worthwhile for a termination letter. Any termination letter sent to any employee for any reason. You want to be following normal procedures. The chances that you will actually get the signature of the employee is pretty close to zero. It is not like they will let him/her out of the cell to come up front and sign for the letter. You are trying to prove that you sent the notification. A good faith effort. You should also send a copy to the employee's last known address.
        "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
        Philip K. **** (1928-1982)


        • #5
          Agree with DAW. We recently had the spouse of an employee come to our office to notify us that her husband would not be reporting back to work soon and to please give her his final pay.
          Of course we did not, and after confirming his incarceration (Sheriff) we waited our Co. policy of three days, and notified via mail that his employment was terminated and check was available in the office or to give us further instructions.


          • #6
            Thank you. I will send two letters one c/o the county jail & one to his last known address, letting him know that his employement has been terminated and that he can pick-up his final check or to let us known where to mail or to whom to give it.


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