Requirements for Accurate Itemized Wage Statements in California

January 22, 2020

Section 226, subdivision (a) of the Labor Code requires an employer to provide employees with “an accurate itemized statement” that includes: (1) gross wages earned; (2) total hours worked; (3) certain information for employees paid on a piece-rate basis; (4) all deductions; (5) net wages earned; (6) the pay period; (7) the employee’s name and identifying information; (8) “the name and address of the legal entity that is the employer”; and (9) all applicable hourly rates. “An employee suffering injury as a result of a knowing and intentional failure by an employer to comply with subdivision (a) is entitled to recover the greater of all actual damages or fifty dollars ($ 50) for the initial pay period in which a violation occurs and one hundred dollars ($ 100) per employee for each violation in a subsequent pay period, not to exceed an aggregate penalty of four thousand dollars ($ 4,000), and is entitled to an award of costs and reasonable attorney’s fees.” (§ 226, subd. (e)(1).) Injunctive relief and civil penalties are also available. (§§ 226, subd. (h), 226.3).

The Legislature enacted section 226 to ensure an employer document[s] the basis of the employee compensation payments’ to assist the employee in determining **60 whether he or she has been compensated properly. [Citations.] Section 226 ‘play[s] an important role in vindicating [the] fundamental public *179 policy’ favoring ‘ “ ‘full and prompt payment of an employee’s earned wages.’ ” ’ [Citation.]” (Soto v. Motel 6 Operating, L.P. (2016) 4 Cal.App.5th 385, 390; Maldonado v. Epsilon Plastics, Inc. (2018) 22 Cal.App.5th 1308, 1337 [“ ‘ “ ‘The purpose of requiring greater wage stub information is to insure that employees are adequately informed of compensation received and are not shortchanged by their employers’ ” ’ ”].) Savea v. YRC Inc., 34 Cal.App.5th 173, 178–79 (2019).

Labor Code § 2810.5 requires that employers provide notice to employees of their rate(s) of pay, designated pay day, the employer’s intent to claim allowances (meal or lodging allowances) as part of the minimum wage, and the basis of wage payment (whether paying by hour, shift, day, week, piece, etc.), including any applicable rates for overtime. The law requires that the notice contain the employer’s “doing business as” names, and that it be provided at the time of hiring and within 7 days of a change if the change is not listed on the employee’s pay stub for the following pay period. 

Author: Richard Hoyer
Category: Class Actions, Legal Procedure, Unpaid Wages, Wage and Hour
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