Requirement to Provide & Maintain Wage Statements

Employers must provide each employee at the time wages are paid an itemized written statement showing the following 11 items:

  • Gross wages earned;
  • Total hours worked by each employee except those employees that are exempt from payment of the minimum wage or overtime;
  • The number of piece-rate units earned and any applicable piece rate, as well as:
    • The total hours of compensable rest and recovery periods, the rate of compensation, and the gross wages paid for those periods during the pay period; and
    • Except for employers that pay—in addition to any piece-rate compensation—an hourly rate of at least the minimum wage for all hours worked, the total hours of other nonproductive time, the rate of compensation, and the gross wages paid for that time during the pay period.
  • All deductions from wages;
  • Net wages earned;
  • Dates of the pay period;
  • The name of the employee and the last four digits of his or her Social Security number or an employee identification number;
  • The employer’s name and address; and
  • All applicable hourly rates in effect during the pay period and the corresponding number of hours worked.

Overtime hours worked during the current payroll period may be itemized as corrections on the statement for the next regular payroll period, provided that the inclusive dates of the payroll period for the corrections are set out. (Labor Code § 204(b)(2).)

Employers must make records available for inspection or copying by current and former employees not later than 21 days from the date of an oral or written request. (Labor Code § 226(b)–(c).) An employee is entitled to a $750 penalty from an employer that fails to timely produce payroll records. (Labor Code §226(f).)

An employee who suffers injury by an employer’s knowing and intentional failure to maintain and provide the wage statements with the itemized requirements may recover the greater of actual damages or $50 for the initial pay period and $100 per employee for each violation in a subsequent pay period, not exceeding an aggregate penalty of $4000, in addition to costs and reasonable attorney’s fees. (Labor Coe §226(e)(1).) Labor Code § 226.3 authorizes penalties of $250 per employee per violation in an initial citation and $1000 per employee for each violation in a subsequent citation for a private employer’s failure to provide an itemized wage statement or to keep the records required by Labor Code § 226(a). (Heritage Residential Care, Inc. v. Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (2011) 192 CA4th 75 [rejecting employer’s defense that violation was “inadvertent” and upholding penalties when employer treated workers who lacked Social Security numbers as independent contractors.])

A knowing and intentional failure to comply with Lab C §226 is a misdemeanor. An owner, director, officer, or managing agent of an employer may be held personally liable for violations of Labor Code § 226. (Labor Code § 226.6.)

If you are an employee that has not been provided legally-compliant pay stubs, please contact Lebe Law for a free consultation.

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