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California Paystub Violations Lawsuit



California labor lawrequires employers to provide certain information on an employee paystub. Failure to provide this information can lead to a paystub violation lawsuit, which can result in fees and penalties charged to the employer. Additionally, employers sometimes make unlawful California payroll deductions from employees, which can also result in fines and penalties assessed against the employer.

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California Labor Law: Paystub Requirements

paystubcasepageUnder California labor law (Labor Code Section 226(a)), every time an employee is paid wages —regardless of whether being paid in cash, check, direct deposit or otherwise —the employee must be given a detachable part of the check that outlines certain required information. The itemized statement may be called a paystub, pay stub, wage statement or income statement.

Information that must be included on an itemized statement:

  • Employee name
  • Employee identification number (only the last four digits of the social security number, if social security number is used)
  • Gross wages earned
  • Total hours worked (except for salaried exempt employees)
  • Number of piece-rate units earned and piece rate (for employees paid on piece rate basis)
  • All deductions
  • Net wages earned
  • Dates of the pay period
  • Name and address of the legal entity employing the worker
  • All applicable hourly rates, and the number of hours worked at each hourly rate.
Failure on the part of the employer to provide all required information—or providing inaccurate information—on every paycheck can result in penalties of $100 per employee per violation, to a maximum of $4,000 per employee.

Under California labor law, employers must keep a copy of all California payroll records for a minimum of three years. Failure to keep those records can result in a $200 penalty as an initial citation by the Labor Commissioner and an additional $1,000 penalty for each subsequent violation.

California Payroll Deductions

payrollarticleCalifornia payroll deductions are allowed only in certain circumstances: when required or allowed to do so by state or federal law; when the deduction is expressly authorized in writing by the employee to cover insurance premiums, benefit plan contributions or other situations in which the deduction is not a rebate on wages; or when a deduction for benefit plan contributions is authorized by a wage agreement or collective bargaining agreement.

Unlawful California payroll deductions:
  • Gratuities (although restaurants may allow for tip pooling/sharing in certain circumstances
  • Photographs (employers must cover the cost of photographs)
  • Business expenses (employees must be reimbursed for expenses incurred as a direct result of work duties)
  • Uniforms
  • Bonds
  • Medical or physical examinations as required for work
California employers are limited and restricted in their ability to make payroll deductions to cover cash shortages, breakage or loss of equipment under the Industrial Welfare Commission Orders. Employers cannot deduct wages if the damage or loss is linked to simple negligence or an accident, such as dropping a tray of glasses. If the breakage or loss is linked to gross negligence or a dishonest or willful act, then the employer may be legally able to make a deduction. In that case, however, the employer must prove dishonesty, willfulness or gross negligence.

If money has been illegally withheld from a paycheck, the employee can file a claim to recover the lost wages. Additionally, the employer may face fines of up to $200, plus 25 percent the amount unlawfully withheld, per employee, per payroll period.

California Employer Retaliation

If a California employee believes pay stub or deduction violations have occurred, he or she can file a claim against the employer. It is illegal for the employer to retaliate against the employee for filing a complaint about paystubs or illegal deductions.

California Paystub Violations Legal Help

If you or a loved one has suffered a California Paystub Violation, please click the link below and your complaint will be sent to a California Employment lawyer who may evaluate your claim at no cost or obligation.
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