California Employment Law FAQs: Payday

Q:        How often does my employer have to pay me?

A:        In California, private employers must pay you at least twice a month.  Your employer must set, in advance, regular paydays for each month.  Many employers assign payday to every other Friday or to the 15th and 30th of the month, both of which are lawful.  You must be compensated for your work from the 1st to the 15th of the month no later than on the 26th of that month, and compensated for your work from the 16th to the last day of the month no later than on the 10th of the following month.  In general, it is illegal for your employer to pay you at irregular or sporadic intervals.  (Labor Code § 204(a).)

Q:        What if I am salaried?  Does my employer still have to pay me twice a month?

A:        No, in California, if you are properly categorized as exempt from overtime, your employer does not have to pay you twice a month.  Instead, your employer can pay you only once a month, but no later than the 26th of that month and the compensation must cover your work for the entire month, including the days you have yet to work in that month.  (Labor Code § 204(a).)

Q:        My paystub does not list the number of hours I worked.  Is this legal?

A:        Probably not.  If you are paid hourly, your employer must include on your paystub the total number of hours you worked in the pay period.  This requirement does not apply if you are properly classified as exempt from overtime.

Q:        What information must be included on my paystub?

A:        In addition to your hours worked (if you are paid hourly), your paystub must include:  your name, either your employee ID number or the last four digits of your social security number, your gross wages earned, your net wages earned, your hourly rate, all deductions, the dates of the pay period, and the name and address of your employer.  If you are paid on a piece-rate basis, your paystub must also include the piece rate and number of piece-rate units.  (Labor Code § 226(a).)

Q:        What if I get paid in cash?  Am I still entitled to a paystub?

A:        Yes.  Even if you are paid in cash, your employer must still provide you a document that includes all of the same information about your hours, wages, deductions, etc., as if you had received a check or direct deposit.  (Labor Code § 226(a).)

Q:        Are there penalties against my employer for not giving me a proper paystub?

A:        Yes, if your employer does not provide you with a paystub or fails to include all of the required information on the paystub, you may be entitled to recover monetary penalties from your employer.  (Labor Code § 226(e).)

If you would like more information about these laws or would like to see if you have a case for wage and hour violations, please contact the attorneys at Kosinski and Thiagaraj, LLP.