FAQ Regarding Paydays, Pay Periods, And Final Wages

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California employers must establish a regular payday and are also required to post a notice of the day, time, and location of payment. An employee who is discharged must be paid all wages, including accrued vacation, immediately at the time of termination.

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about paydays, pay periods, and final wages.

*How frequently must a California employee pay its workers?

Subject to some exceptions, employers must pay workers twice during each calendar month on days designated in advance by the employer as regular paydays.

*Can an employer pay an employee in cash?

Yes. The employer must give the employee a separate writing showing required information such as

  1. Gross wages earned
  2. Total hours worked
  3. If the employee is paid on a piece-rate basis, the number of piece-rate units earned and any applicable piece rate
  4. All deductions
  5. Net wages earned
  6. The inclusive dates of the pay period
  7. The name of the employee and an employee identification number like a social security number
  8. The name and address of the legal entity doing business as the employer
  9. All applicable hourly rates during the pay period, and the corresponding number of hours worked by the employee

*Is my employer required to keep payroll records?

Yes. Every employer doing business in California must maintain complete and accurate payroll records for each employee.

*Is an employee entitled to see his or her payroll records?

Yes. An employee’s payroll records must be made available upon reasonable request. This request must be complied with by an employer as soon as practicable, but no later than 21 calendar days from the date of the request. If an employer fails to comply within 21 days, the employee may recover a $750.00 penalty from the employer in a civil action.

*When must overtime wages be paid?

The payment of overtime wages earned by an employee in one payroll period must be paid no later than the payday for the next regular payroll period.

*If an employee does not submit a timecard for the pay period, can an employer delay payment of wages until the timecard is submitted?

No, an employer in California has a legal obligation, without exception, to pay employees on the established payday even if a timecard is not submitted. Even without a timecard, an employer can pay all wages that it reasonably knows are due for the regularly scheduled work period.

*May an employer change the payroll period to semimonthly (twice a month) and pay on the 10th and 25th of the month.

Yes, provided that the employer gives the employee prior notice of the change and meets legal payday requirements.

*If a regular designated payday falls on a holiday, when must an employer pay its employees?

If a regular designated payday falls on a holiday and an employer observes this holiday by closing, the employer must pay wages on the next business day.

If your employer has failed to comply with any California labor and employment laws, the experienced employment law attorneys at Moss Bollinger can help you determine if your valuable rights have been violated. If so, we can help make your employer pay for any unlawful conduct. Moss Bollinger is dedicated to protecting and asserting the rights of California employees. Call 866-942-7974 today for a free consultation or contact us online.