California law requires employers to keep track of most of their employees hours worked and to provide employees with accurate itemized pay stubs or wage statements.
DLSE Opinion. Letter No.
Personnel files: Obligations of employer to provide employees access
DLSE Opinion. Letter No. 1998.08.27
EMPLOYERS HAVE A DUTY TO KEEP RECORDS AND PROVIDE ACCURATE ITEMIZED WAGE STATEMENTS
Labor Code section 1174 and Section 7 of every IWC Wage Order state that among other information, an employer is required to keep time records for every employee, such as electronic timecards or punch in and punch out records.
The IWC Wage Orders and Labor Code section 226 provide that an employer must also provide each employee with an itemized wage statement, which is a written statement that is a detachable part of the check that an employee receives. If the employee is paid his or wages in cash, a wage statement is a separate writing.
WHAT MUST BE INCLUDED IN A WAGE STATEMENT
California Labor Code section 226 states that every wage statement must show the following categories:
- Gross wages earned for the pay period.
- Total hours worked by the employee in that pay period. [The total hours worked does not need to be listed for employees who are properly classified as an executive, administrative, or professional, outside salespersons, computer software professionals paid on a salaried basis]
- The number of piece-rate units earned and any applicable piece rate if the employee is paid on a piece-rate basis. [This is only applicable if the employee earns a piece rate]
- All deductions taken.
- Net wages earned for the pay period. [This is the gross wages minus deductions].
- The start and end dates of the pay period.
- The name of the employee and only the last four digits of his or her social security number or an employee identification number other than a social security number.
- The name and address of the legal entity that is the employer and,
- All applicable hourly rates in effect during the pay period and the corresponding number of hours worked at each hourly rate.
- Paid sick leave requirements: In addition to the above nine (9) categories, Labor Code section 246 (i) provides that employers are also required to notify employees, in writing, each pay period, the amount of paid sick leave or paid time off leave the employee has available.
- Requirements for piece-rate employees: Labor Code section 226.2 requires that employees be paid for rest and recovery periods and other nonproductive time separate from any piece-rate compensation. (Labor Code Section 226.2).
Requirement for Garment Manufacturers: Labor code section 2673 provides the records that a garment manufacturer must keep.
Accrued Vacation Pay: Employers are not required to provide vacation days. However, if the employer does choose to provide vacation days,any unused and accrued paid vacation days must be paid to the employee at the time of termination.
Deductions an employer can make: Employers are lawfully allowed to make certain deductions from an employee’s wages. Lawful deductions must be either authorized by the employee in writing or the law must allow for the deduction
List of common deductions and whether the deduction is permitted:
TYPE OF DEDUCTION
IS IT PERMITTED?
Cash shortage, breakage, or loss of equipment
No. Unless it was due to the employee’s dishonest or willful act or gross negligence.
Loan advance to Employee
Yes. If it is in writing and the employer does not take a lump sum repayment at the time of termination.
Coming to work late
State or Federal Income Taxes
Court Orders such as alimony or wage garnishment
Yes. If it is in writing.
Health Insurance premiums
Yes. If it is in writin
DLSE Opinion. Letter No.
WHAT IF THE WAGE STATEMENTS ARE NOT ACCURATE?
IF THERE IS NO WAGE STATEMENT: If an employer fails to provide the employee with a wage statement or fails to keep records, the employee may be entitled to penalties under Labor Code section 226.3 or $250 for the initial violation and $1,000 for each subsequent violation.
IF THE WAGE STATEMENT IS INNACURATE: If an employer knowingly and intentionally fails to provide an employee with an accurate itemized wage statement, the employee may be entitled to penalties under Labor Code Section 226(e) of up to $4,000, if the employee has suffered an injury.
HOW TO PROVE YOUR CASE IF EMPLOYER DOES NOT KEEP RECORDS
An employee has the right to inspect his or her personnel record. In the event the employer has not complied with the law and kept accurate or adequate records of the employee’s hours worked, the employee can reconstruct their hours worked by means of a “just and reasonable” inference. To do so, the employee simply needs to prove that they performed work for which he or she was not compensated for. The burden then shifts to the employer to come forward with evidence of the precise amount of work performed or with evidence that the employee’s estimate is not reasonable. If the employer fails to produce such evidence, the court may then award damages to the employee, even though the result is only an approximation.
WHEN IS AN EMPLOYEE ENTITLED TO WAGES?
The employer is required to set a regular schedule. California Labor Code section 204 states that the besides executive, administrative and professional employees and commissioned car salesman, all employee’s wages must be paid at least twice monthly on days designated in advance by the employer. Wages earned between the 1st and the 15th of each month must be paid before the 22nd. Wages earned between the 16th and the end of the calendar month must be paid before the 10th of the next month. California Labor Code section 207 provides that employers must post notices defining the regular payday and the time and place of payment.
DLSE Opinion. Letter No.
Wages: Pay day obligations (Labor Code § 204)
WHAT IF EMPLOYEE IS PAID WITH A BAD CHECK OR INSUFFICIENT FUNDS?
California Labor Code section 203.1 provides that any employee paid with a check with insufficient funds is entitled to a penalty of one day’s wage for each day the wages are not paid. The penalty shall not exceed thirty days of wages
PAGA PENALTY FOR A SECTION 203.1 VIOLATION
In addition to the statutory penalty of one day’s wage for each day the wages are not paid for a maximum of thirty days the employee is entitled to civil penalties of:
- $100 per pay period, per employee, for each violation.
- $200 per pay period, per employee for repeat violations.
CONTACT A LOS ANGELES WAGE ATTORNEY
The Law Offices of Morris Nazarian provides representation to employees seeking the payment of overtime wages, minimum wages,missed meal and rest breaks,vacation wages,deductions from wages,severance pay,misclassification,independent contractor cases and other unpaid wages or commissions. We also handle harassment anddiscrimination claims.If you have been denied accurate itemized wage statements or if you have not been paid on time, it is important that you speak to a knowledgeable Los Angeles employment attorney who can assist you with your case. Los Angeles attorney Morris Nazarian has successfully represented employees who have not been provided wage statements.
Please contact Los Angeles Employment Lawyer Morris Nazarian by calling (310) 284-7333 to make an appointment for a free initial consultation or please fill out the Employment Law Case Evaluation Form and a Los Angeles Wage attorney will call or email you as soon as possible.
If the wage statement violation is company-wide, you and your co-workers may be entitled to bring a class action lawsuit against the employer.