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Final Pay issues in CA

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  • Final Pay issues in CA

    Sorry for the length of this question--bare with me!

    Back in March, I gave two week notice to my job. My last day was April 7th. April 7th also happened to be the last day in the company's pay period. April 15th was the usuallly scheduled payday, which would include my final two weeks pay. I didn't make a fuss and didn't mind that I would get paid on the 15th as my final paycheck, despite the fact I know and the company knows that I'm suppose to be paid within 72 hours of my last day. I received what was SUPPOSE to be my FINAL paycheck, only to find that there were dollars still owed not appearing on this final check.

    As a side note, we were given yearly reviews. My anniversary date was November 16, 2004 and after a review is given by our manager, any raise recommendation then goes to a higher up to approve and you are suppose to see your raise aprox one month after your anniversary date. My review was not given until after the 1st of the year (given late) and it has been the history of the company to pay retroactive pay from the time you actually received a the raise on your check back to the one month after your anniversary date. So, I finally got my raise shown on paychecks starting February 11th, 2005. Then, wouldn't I be owed the retroactive pay back to aprox October 16th, 2004??? I had a .50 cent raise, so that's 4 dollars a day owed for an 8hr period worked. I have had issues in the past where a year went by before my review went through and the company would ONLY pay me back 3 months of the nearly 12 that should have been owed (in my opinion, had the raise gone when it was suppose to, they would have been paying me the proper rate of pay all those months, so I feel really screwed by their refusal to pay me fairly). Also, there is an inconsistancy with this company--I worked there nearly 5 and a half years and when reviews went through with no delay or gap in time, the retro pay always showed up on the same check the raise was first shown on. It's only been when there is a huge gap in time that they have been unwilling to pay what is owed. What I'm not sure of is if legally they are suppose to pay retroactive pay?

    So, back to my last pay check. I had no retro pay shown on any check from the time I received my raise and there was no mention of retroactive pay on my final check. After I saw my raise in February, I inquired into why I had not received my retroactive pay and from Feb until the time I left, no one had been able to resolve it. Retro pay issues aside, my vacation pay balance was not paid. I called my manager, informed him of both issues with my pay and I was cut a check on April 22nd--hopeful that all money owed would be there, I was very upset to see that only my vacation pay was shown. I call my manager, AGAIN. Apparently the person payroll needed to get approval from regarding my retro pay was not available when they cut the check. My manager tells me that he will see what he can do to get this resolved for me and will let me know. I call back a few days later to check the status and am told that the person in payroll he needs to talk to is out of the office until that Wed and he'll talk to them and let me know. I hear nothing. I call back--This time, he's spoken to the payroll person, but they say they need the higher up's approval, but he's on vacation for a week. My manager will let me know....I start to feel like a pest and figure that he does have my best interest at heart and I will eventually get my money. ONE MONTH LATER, I finally get a check in the mail. The total was not anything near the amount I would have been owed (78.00 compared to nearly 300.00). I call my manager--he says he'll look into it. I hear nothing for more than a month and think to call him. My boyfriend works for the company still--he also is owed retro pay--so, he asks the manager if things are still moving on the matter--he says yes. I decide not to keep pestering.

    Just this last Friday, my boyfriend tells me that Monday the store will do a paid out to us for the retro pay owed, as the higher up came into the store and our manager spoke with him regarding this issue. The higher up must contact payroll to say this is all OK. I am told I will be called Monday when it is ready. I hear nothing and so I decide to call. The higher up did not call payroll, so they can't issue a dollar amount owed. The manager does not work on Tuesday, so my boyfriend calls on Wed to see the status--only to find out that payroll says they need one more reply from the higher up and things are a go--but he's gone on vacation for a week. #@!*%^#@!!!!! The manager hopes that on Tuesday he'll have an answer for me as to when I can expect this money. It's been FOUR MONTHS since I have stopped working there. There must be something illegal about this!!!!

    I've looked at California's Labor Law regarding this. I have deducted that they did not obey the law and pay me my final check properly by leaving the vacation pay off. I got that check a week later. As I see the law, they owe me a days rate of pay for every day it is late, up to 30 days. My question is, does this apply to the retroactive pay as well? They did not send me that check until a month later. Does this penalty apply to my situation for only a week, or longer??? I'm so confused! I know I can make a claim through the California Department of Industrail Relations, so I'm trying to figure out if I have a chance at a claim before I go through the annoying process of filing one. Anyone with knowledge of these issues, please help me!!!!

    Thank you!

  • #2
    There is no legal requirement that you receive retroactive pay for increases.
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