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A Quick Guide To California Payroll Laws

Table of Contents for Specific Topics

The United States labor code gives employees extensive rights related to their welfare and benefits. California, in particular, is known to be one of the most protective states when it comes to upholding their labor laws and the rights of employees.

One of these rights includes the right to be paid on time. State laws cover various aspects related to the rights of employees including payday laws, workers’ compensation and laws pertaining to the proper contents of an employee’s pay stub. If you are a California employee, here are some guidelines about California payroll laws and their corresponding definitions.

California Payday Guidelines

California employers are mandated by the state to pay their workers at least twice during each calendar month. The employer must determine these payroll periods. For salaries earned between the first and fifteenth day, payment must be given out no later than the 26th day of that same month.

Additionally, pay earned on the sixteenth day until the end of that month should have a pay period of no later the tenth day of the succeeding month. For employees with biweekly, semimonthly, or any other pay period, compensation must be received within seven calendar days after the designated pay period.

Exceptions can be made for executive, administrative, and professional employees. These employees as defined by California’s overtime laws may be paid only once a month given that they are paid their entire salary for the month by the 26th day of the month.

California Payday Laws

California payday regulations have additional laws that support and uphold the rights of employees regarding their salaries. Some laws that support the payday regulations that were previously mentioned are the following:

  1. Labor Code Section 204. This section of the labor code states that all wages earned by any person in any employment are due and payable twice during each calendar month. It also declares that labor performed between the 1st and 15th days, inclusive, of any calendar month shall be paid for between the 16th and the 26th day of the month during which the labor was performed. Labor performed between the 16th and the last day, inclusive, of any calendar month, should be paid for between the 1st and 10th day of the following month.This section also states that salaries of executive, administrative, and professional employees of employers covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act may be paid once a month. The payment must be given on or before the 26th day of the month during which the labor was performed if the entire month’s salaries, including the unearned portion between the date of payment and the last day of the month, are paid at that time.
  2. Labor Code Section 207 states that every employer shall keep their employees posted and be given a notice specifying the regular paydays and the time and place of payment.

Pay Stub Rules

The law requires employers to provide an itemized document detailing the different aspects of an employee’s wages with every paycheck given. This document may come in the form of a detachable pay stub or any other separate record. These documents should contain the following:

  1. The employee’s name along with the last four digits of the employee’s Social Security number;
  2. The employee’s total hours worked throughout the pay period;
  3. Total gross wages in said period;
  4. A breakdown of the tasks an employee has done and its corresponding rates;
  5. Total pay deductions;
  6. Total net pay;
  7. Dates covering the payroll period;
  8. And all hourly rates in effect during said period and the number of hours worked at each rate.

California Pay Stub Laws

This guideline is supported by Labor Code Section 206. It states that an employer, semimonthly or at the time of each payment of wages, shall furnish to his or her employee, either as a detachable part of the check, draft, or voucher paying the employee’s wages, or separately if wages are paid by personal check or cash, an accurate itemized statement in writing. Any error or inaccuracy found in the pay stub can warrant an unlawful pay stub violation.

Payroll Records Requests

California employees are allowed to examine their pay stub or other payroll documents. California employers are mandated by law to freely allow employees to access payroll records within twenty-one days of employee request. Being denied these requests for reviewing payroll documents can be considered a violation of California payroll laws. A 750$ penalty will be owed to the employee if the employer fails to grant the request.

Payroll Records Request Laws

According to Subdivision (c) of Labor Code Section 226, an employer who receives a written or oral request to inspect or receive a copy of records shall comply with the request as soon as practicable, but no later than 21 calendar days from the date of the request. This is then supported by Subdivision (f) of the same section which declares that failure by an employer to permit a current or former employee to inspect or receive a copy of records within the time set forth in subdivision (c) entitles the current or former employee or the Labor Commissioner to recover a seven-hundred-fifty-dollar ($750) penalty from the employer.

Payday Law Violations

If your employer has violated any of the guidelines mentioned above, he or she may be eligible for suit. However, as with most laws, payroll laws are complicated and difficult to handle. California payroll law cases require vast and expert employment law knowledge. Handling this matter on your own may end up serving you more harm than good. Seek legal advice from expert employment law firms well-versed in California payday laws to know what you are up against.

One of these firms includes Mesriani Law Group, one of the highly regarded and most prolific law firms in the state of California. Mesriani Law Group uses their decades of experience in employment law to take on and win wage and hour claims for their clients and have already won over 100 million dollars in damages for their clients. Their attorneys well-versed in California payday law cases will be on your side.

About the Author
Rodney Mesriani
Rodney Mesriani

Rodney Mesriani is the principal partner of the Los Angeles and Santa Monica based Mesriani Law Group. He specializes in personal injury and employment law while also being an accomplished litigator and trial attorney. Rodney is an aggressive negotiator and a well-known and respected attorney in the areas of practice he specializes in.

He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from California State University Northridge before attending Southwestern School of Law where he received his Juris Doctorate. While being an accomplished personal injury and employment lawyer, Rodney Mesriani has made it a point to attend numerous State Sponsored MCLE events and seminars over the years as a law practitioner to be informed of the latest laws and litigation strategies.



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