The National Employment Law Project and the University of California, Los Angeles, reports that California employers are stealing the wages of their low-wage employees. The report, which analyzed the records of the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) from 2008-2011, showed that California employers owed $390 million to employees — but only 42 percent was actually paid out. Only 17 percent of the workers who obtained a judgment from the DLSE actually collected any of the money. For California employers, it is important to know the state laws that govern the way you pay your employees.
State of California wants employers to pay on time
According to California law, employers must pay their employees twice a month. California's labor code requires employers to establish regular pay days and to post a notice informing employees of the day, time and location of payment.
California code requires employers to pay overtime wages no later than the payday for the next regular payroll period after the time in which the overtime was worked.
When discharging employees, employers must pay them all wages due, included accrued vacation, at the time of dismissal. Employers must pay laid-off seasonal or temporary employees all wages owed within 72 hours of dismissal.
Wage and hour violations
Even when attempting to fully comply with the California Labor Code and the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act, employers can fail to pay fair wages or overtime. The common causes of wage and hour violations include:
Classifying employees incorrectly as exempt from overtime pay
Failing to provide meal breaks according to the legal guidelines
Neglecting to provide 10-minute breaks for every four hours worked
Failing to ensure that employees who are paid per project are receiving wages, according the law's minimum wage requirements
Omitting proper pay stubs with all the legally required information
There is a web of laws and regulations woven around California employers.