It is important to understand the requirements and protections covering employee paychecks under California law. Employees have numerous rights and legal protections, with a myriad of laws protecting them. Employers must understand what is required to avoid running into legal problems, including class action lawsuits.
When Are Employees Entitled to Receive Their Pay?
Employees, with some exceptions, have the right to be paid at least twice each month. Under California law, employees who earn compensation by working between the first day and the fifteenth day of the month must be paid no later than the 26th of the same month. For compensation earned from the sixteenth day of the month through the end of the month, employees must be paid by the 10th day of the next month.
The exceptions to this law include executive, administrative, and professional employees (as defined by California overtime laws) who may be paid just once each month provided that the paycheck is for the entire month and it is paid by the 26th of the month. Farm labor workers must be paid weekly under California employment law.
Pay Stubs Have Legal Requirements, Too
California employers are required to provide an itemized document that explains the amount the employee is paid. This information can be on a detachable pay stub or it can be a stand-alone document. Regardless, it must include:
- Total wages earned for the pay period
- Total hours worked during the pay period
- The pay rate and number of units (such as hours) included for the pay period
- Net pay
- Pay period start and end dates
- The last four numbers of the worker’s SSN
- The name and address of the employer
- Any additional work and the rate for that work (common in contracting and freelancing work)
Employees Can Request Their Payroll Records
Employees in California have the right to look at their payroll history. The employer must comply within 21 days of the request. Employers may charge the employee a reasonable amount to make copies of the record. Failure for employers to comply may result in a $750 penalty.
For more information on what you need to do to ensure that your business’s paystubs adhere to California law, contact an experienced employment attorney.