What Happens if My Paycheck is Late in California?
According to California labor laws, employers are required to pay their employees their typical rate of pay, on time. If a paycheck is late, an employee may be able to file a wage claim to recover their wages.
If an employer has an established payroll period and fails to pay a California employee on the scheduled payday, said employee can send a written notice to their employer requesting payment. If the employer still does not pay and violates the employment relationship, the California employee may file a claim with the California Labor Commissioner’s Office.
Furthermore, if an employer willfully fails paying wages, the employee may be entitled to penalties under California law. Specifically, they could be entitled to a penalty of one day’s pay for each day that the wages are late, up to a maximum of 30 days. If an employee wins their case for unpaid wages, they also may be entitled to recover attorney’s fees and court costs.
There are some exceptions and special circumstances that may affect the timing of a paycheck. If an exempt employee and an employer have a biweekly or semimonthly payroll cycle, a paycheck may be delayed due to the timing of the pay period.
If an employee suspects California law or a labor code was violated in payment of wages, they should contact an employment law firm like Lawyers for Justice, PC (LFJ) so an attorney can take a look at their specific case.
Is it Illegal to Not Get Paid on Payday?
In most jurisdictions, including California, employers are legally required to pay their employees on the scheduled payday – late payment of wages can result in waiting time penalties. Failure to pay in a timely manner may also be a violation of state or federal wage and hour laws.
Under California law, employers are required to pay employees at least twice per month, on specific paydays. For example, if an employee is paid on the 1st and 15th of each month, the employer must ensure that the employee receives their paychecks on those specific dates.
If an employer does not pay their employee on the scheduled payday, the employee may be entitled to penalty pay via a wage claim. In California, an employer who willfully fails to pay an employee’s wages on time may be be required to pay waiting time penalties which include one day’s pay for each day that the unpaid wages are late, up to a maximum of 30 days.
If an employee has an idea that a labor code was violated because payment of wages was late. they should contact their employer’s human resources department or payroll department. If the issue is not resolved, calling an employment attorney may be necessary.
What To Do if Your Employer Doesn’t Pay You on Time:
If an employer fails to pay their California employees on time, there are several steps they can take to address the issue:
- Contact the employer (or former employer, if they are waiting on a final paycheck): Better yet, contact the employer’s human resources or payroll department and ask about the reason for the delay in payment. Sometimes, the delay is due to administrative errors or issues with payroll processing, which can be resolved quickly.
- Document everything: Keep records of hours worked, pay rate, pay period, and any communications between California employees and employers regarding pay. The information can be important evidence if legal action needs to be taken.
- File a complaint: If the employer intentionally fails to address the issue, a complaint with the California Labor Commissioner’s Office can be filed. The Labor Commissioner’s Office investigates California employment law wage and hour violations and can take legal action on an employee’s behalf.
- Seek legal advice: If the delay in payment has caused financial hardship, consulting with an employment lawyer regarding failure to pay wages may be the next logical option. A wage claim attorney can help employees better understand the initial violation, their legal rights under California law, and the options to take regarding the unpaid wages.
Late Paycheck Penalty in California
If an employer is supposed to pay their worker their normal rate of pay on the 15th of every month but fails to do so, and the worker does not receive their paycheck until the 20th, they may be entitled to five days of penalty pay.
If it is believed that an employer violated an employment contract or California law for unpaid wages, the California wage worker should contact the California Labor Commissioner’s Office or a California employment attorney for assistance.
What is Penalty Pay?
As stated above, penalty pay refers to the additional compensation that an employer may be required to pay to an employee as a penalty for violating certain wage and hour laws or regulations. The purpose of penalty pay is to incentivize employers to comply with wage and hour labor code laws and to compensate employees for any damages they may have suffered as a result of the employer’s noncompliance.
Penalty pay may also be available in other circumstances, such as when an employer fails to provide employees with accurate hourly pay wage statements or fails to provide employees with proper notice of their rights under wage and hour laws.
The availability and amount of penalty pay may vary depending on the applicable laws and regulations depending on jurisdiction. An employment attorney like the ones at Lawyers for Justice, PC can answer any questions about California wage issues and penalty pay.
Labor Code 204 Penalties
In California, Labor Code section 204 provides penalties in cases where an employer willfully fails to pay wages to an employee who has resigned or been terminated from employment. Specifically, Labor Code section 204 provides that:
“If an employer discharges an employee, the wages earned and unpaid at the time of discharge are due and payable immediately. An employer who lays off an employee, in writing or otherwise, shall immediately pay all wages earned and unpaid at the time of the layoff.”
“If an employer willfully fails to pay, without abatement or reduction, in accordance with this chapter, any wages of an employee who is discharged or who quits, the wages of the employee shall continue as a penalty from the due date thereof at the same rate until paid or until an action therefor is commenced; but the wages shall not continue for more than 30 days.”
This means that if an employer intentionally fails to pay final wages or a final paycheck to a terminated or resigned employee, the employee may be entitled to receive penalty pay in the form of additional wages at the same rate as the unpaid wages, up to a maximum of 30 days.
The availability and amount of penalty pay may vary depending on the specific facts and circumstances in an employment contract or other details about the California wage case. An employment attorney can help an employee on the best course of action to take.
“Can I Sue My Employer for Not Paying Me on Time?”
Yes, in some circumstances, an employee may be able to sue their employer for late payment of wages or failure to pay final wages. In California, employers are required to pay employees on time, and failure to do so may be a violation of state and federal wage and hour laws.
If an employer willfully fails to pay an employee’s wages on time, the employee may be entitled to waiting time penalties The amount of penalty pay may vary depending on the specific circumstances of the case, but it generally ranges from one day’s pay for each day that the wages are late, up to a maximum of 30 days.
If an employer makes a consistent willful or intentional violation to pay a California worker his or her wages on time, the employee may consider filing a wage and hour lawsuit against them. Consulting with an employment lawyer to understand legal rights and options, as well as the likelihood of success, is strongly encouraged. Lawyers for Justice, PC offers a free consultation for state employees.
Filing a lawsuit can be complex and time-consuming. An employment lawyer can help navigate the process.