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Forget the gold watch! Present last check instead

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in Compensation and Benefits,Human Resources

Employees who quit in California must receive their last checks within 72 hours if the employee provides no advance notice. If the worker does provide at least 72 hours’ notice, the payment must be immediate.

But what about employees who announce their retirement—presumably at least 72 hours before their last workday?

A recent court decision says you must pay them immediately on that last day of work or face so-called waiting-time penalties.

Recent case: A group of retirees filed a class-action lawsuit against the state, alleging that they had not immediately been paid their wages on their retirement date.

California argued that employees who quit are entitled to immediate payment, but not those who retire. The court disagreed, concluding that retiring is quitting. (McLean v. State of California, No. C074515, Court of Appeal of California, 2014)

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