California law is particular when it comes to the the information employers need to include their employees’ wage statements. In fact, if an employer fails to follow these requirements result in financial penalties. Employers and employees, alike, must know and understand California’s laws requirements for wage statements to know whether or not the company is in compliance.
Wage Statements Explained
According to the state of California, a wage statement is a written, detachable document provided to employees as part of their check, draft, or voucher that pays wages. When an employee is paid by direct deposit, the wage statement is a copy of the paystub with a copy of the real check. Of note, California employers bear the responsibility for the accuracy of the wage statements provided. All of the information that is required by California law to be on a wage statement must be visible on the face of that statement. In other words, if an employee has to refer to another document to get the required information, the wage statement violates California law.
Wage Statement Requirements
Under California’s Labor Code, Section 226, all wage statements must include the following nine pieces of information:
- Gross wages earned for that particular pay period;
- Total number of hours worked for that particular pay period, except for exempt employees;
- Earned piece-rate units as well as the applicable piece rates, if the employee is paid on this basis;
- All deductions taken from the employee’s wages;
- Net wages earned for that particular pay period;
- The employee’s full name and employee identification number or, alternatively, the last four digits of the employee’s Social Security number;
- The employing entity’s full legal name and address;
- All applicable hourly rates.
In addition, companies that provide temporary employment services must include the rate of pay on wage statements of pay as well as the total number of hours worked by the employee for every assignment.
Penalties for Violations
California law requires that employers provide accurate information to employees as well as the payroll company they use to prepare wage statements. Even minor errors and/or omissions in wage statements can result in large fines and penalties for California employers. Companies that violate California wage statement may face:
- A penalty of $250 per employee for an initial violation and $1,000 per employee for subsequent violations of failing to provide a wage statement;
- A penalty of up to $4,000 per employee for providing a worker with an inaccurate wage statement;
- A penalty of $50 for the initial offense and $100 for subsequent offenses when an employer knowingly and intentionally failed to comply and that failure caused the employee harm.
Legal Help in California
If you or someone you know believes your California employer is in violation of wage statement requirements, be sure to speak with an experienced California employment lawyer right away. At HBK Lawyers, APC we can help go through the facts of your case to determine your strongest claims and assert your rights under applicable California and federal laws.
California Wage Statement Requirements for Certain Workers
A wage statement - often referred to as a pay stub - is a document that all employers give their workers every pay period. A wage statement explains to the worker how the paycheck was calculated. Under California law, there are specific requirements that employers must provide and certain information to which employees are entitled. Likewise, there are special rules that apply to different types of workers, with some exceptions.
In general, wage statement that comply with California requirements provide employees with several pieces of information including receiving an accurate record of hours work, employee’s rate of pay, the wages paid to the worker, and any deductions taken out of the worker’s pay. State law is designed to ensure workers can keep their wage statements and have a record of their earnings. That being said, there are particular rules that apply to certain workers. These include security guards, piece-rate employees, and temporary services workers. Moreover, there is a home services exception under the California law.
Special Requirements: Piece-Rate Employees
California employers compensate piece-rate employees must pay them for rest and recovery times as well as other non-productive times and these times must be paid at specified minimum hourly rates. When employees are paid on a piece-rate basis, the wage statement must show the number of piece-rate units earned by the worker and the applicable piece-rate. California employers must include specific information on a piece-rate employee’s wage statement, such as:
- The total hours of payable rest and recovery times, including the rate of those times and the total gross wages; and
- The total hours of payable non-productive time, including the rate of those times and the total gross wages.
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