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Employment Law/Direct Deposit after Quitting in California


I took a part time/seasonal job (at a big-box warehouse store) that just didn't work out, so I quit. They had me working in a freezer when I was wearing shorts and had been sweating for 2 hours previously. The day after this, I gave them my notice. I told them I would work 2 weeks if that's what they needed. I never heard one way or the other from them. They finally paid me my final paycheck a week later, via direct deposit to my checking account.

From what I've read, I should have been paid within 72 hours, and not by direct deposit since they didn't do it in the proper time period.

Am I correct about this? If so, I want to be able to know what I'm talking about when I call the corporate office.

Also, I would often work shifts that were longer than 5 hours and never given a meal break, not even offered one. I believe that not taking a meal break has to be a mutual decision between the employer and employee, but I was never asked. They paid me after the fact for 2 of these times (worked over 6 hours), but there are 5 others when I worked longer than 5 hours.

Hope you can help.

Dear Mr. Andrist - I'm not sure what you want to accomplish with the information you are requesting.  You no longer have the job, so having the company correct any mistakes it may have made is not the issue.

If the issue is money they owe you, a call to the corporate office may be the first step.  By my reading of your letter, they may owe you for several lunch hours not given.  It's debatable whether they owe you for time lost on your last pay check, because it sounds as if your official last day was ambiguous at best.  Waiting time might be a day or two; I am not aware that there is a penalty for making a direct deposit rather than handing you the check.

If you are not successful with obtaining the money from the main office, you would have to file a wage complaint with the CA Department of Industrial Relations.  They would work with you to obtain any money you are owed.  

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Margaret M. deMarteleire


I can answer most questions about employment law, federal or state. I am an attorney, not an HR professional, so questions about HR careers, coursework, prospects, etc. are not within my scope.


Attorney for 20 years, currently working exclusively with employment law - FLSA, FMLA, federal contracts, pay, etc.

Temple University School of Liberal Arts, BA, Rhetoric & Communication, 1982 Temple University School of Law, JD, 1990 Certificate in HR, Cornell University ILR School, 2006

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