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Payment of Wages Upon Termination Instructions

Effective January 1, 2001 a law was passed that brings the University of California and the State of California under provisions of the California Wage & Hour Law which have long applied only to private employers.

Specifics of the law can be reviewed in the California Labor Code, Section 200-243.


The law applies to three types of separation:

* Final wages refers to unpaid earnings to date, overtime, shift differential, all unused compensatory time and compensation for unused vacation hours.
**72 Hours notice has been defined as 72 consecutive hours, not work hours. This includes weekends and holidays.

Department Responsibilities

As soon as the department is notified that an employee is separating or will be discharged, the department should complete the Separation Check Request form. Fax the completed form to your Payroll Services representative at 757-8597. Following are the detailed procedures for departmental staff to ensure compliance with the new law:
  1. Calculate any additional accrual of vacation to be included in payment of TRM.
  2. Calculate wages payable as appropriate.
  3. Report outstanding vacation (VAC) usage on an EDLR. Do not report REG pay.
  4. Process a separation bundle in PPS.
    • Change all appointment time codes to N. (Positive time with no time rosters generated).
  5. Submit a Separation Check Request to payroll. Please allow Payroll Services staff 48 hours to process the request. DO NOT send the employee to Payroll Services to pick up their separation check. The law states that the final check must be distributed to the employee at the place of discharge/or office where the employee has been performing labor.
    • The only months this will not be required is when the actual payday is on or before the employees pay period end date.
  6. Submit the separation IDOC to Payroll.
  7. Designated departmental representative picks up employees final paycheck.
  8. Hand the employee their separation paper check on their last day of work.
  9. Inform your OPTRS preparer and backup preparer that the employee has separated and all final wages have been paid. The OPTRS preparer should NOT enter time worked for the employee on the OPTRS IDTC rosters.
  10. Verify vacation balance after employee's normal pay cycle has computed.
  11. Adjust vacation accrual as needed to zero out any remaining balance.

Payroll Responsibilities

  1. If the Separation Check Request is received before the Separation PAN, payroll staff has been instructed to change all time codes to N.
  2. Payroll will change all separating employees pay dispositions so that a paper check will be issued and distributed to the Payroll Division rather than the departments. The check is then special routed to the department or held for pickup by the department per the instruction on the Separation Check Request form.
  3. Payroll will be working closely with departments on any checks issued after the employees separation date to determine what action needs to be taken.

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