The California Wage Theft Prevention Act, which went into effect January 1, 2017, requires all employers to provide written notice of certain pay-related information to nonexempt employees at the time of hire and when it updates. Certain temporary services employees might experience additional requirements. And, of course, an employee or hiring entity can run into massive legal trouble if they steal money from employees or contractors that rightfully belongs to them.

California employers may send appropriate funds to employees as cash, by check, or even through direct deposit. What matters is that the certain requirements are kept in mind. Electronic payments are allowed under select circumstances. Violations can incur noncompliance repercussions.

Under the California Labor Code, every employer must keep accurate payroll records for each employee containing specified information relating to hours worked and wages paid. These records must be retained for at least three years after termination of employment or until the completion of any administrative action pursuant to Labor Code Section 98(b).

The California Fair Employment and Housing Act does not allow discrimination against applicants and employees based on their age (40+), pregnancy, sex (including gender identity), religion or religious observance.

The employer must pay employees the wages due them at least twice a month, on regularly scheduled paydays. Different pay frequency restrictions apply to nonexempt and exempt employees, certain temporary services employees, and to payments of paid sick leave. Penalties can be incurred for violations of the pay frequency rules.

Employers are sometimes not allowed to make certain deductions from employee’s salaries.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires that employers pay their employees at least the federal minimum wage and to pay overtime at one-and-one-half times the regular rate of pay. The FLSA also requires employers to keep accurate records of wages and hours worked by their employees.

Under the FLSA, employers must:

Pay non-exempt employees for any hours worked in a given workweek;

Pay non-exempt employees for time worked beyond 40 hours in a given workweek; and

Provide each employee with an accurate itemized pay statement each payday.

The FLSA does not require overtime pay for non-exempt employees who do not work more than 40 hours in a given week or day (or whose primary duty is not performing manual labor or working on materials that are produced by hand). However, many states have state laws requiring such overtime pay regardless of whether such additional time was compensated under federal law or not.

California law allows the California Labor Commissioner to file a lien or levy against an employer’s property in the case of an employee collecting unpaid wages when there is a judgment to determine the employer is in the wrong. The Commissioner may file a necessary lien or levy after a judgment has been entered for 20 days. Personal liability for failure of compliance falls to the employer.

The Labor Commissioner’s office lacks a facility for filing liens and levies. You must contact another county recorder’s office. To find out which county recorder’s office in your area accepts these documents, visit the California Secretary of State website at:

The California Supreme Court has held that an employer must provide a meal period to an employee who works more than five hours in a day, but it is not required to provide a meal period if the employee works less than six hours in a day.

Under California law, all employers must provide their employees with meal periods and rest periods unless the nature of the work prevents them from doing so. For example, if an employee is working on a construction site where there are no facilities available for breaks, then no break time would be required under California law. However, if an employee works in an office building where there are facilities available for taking breaks, then they must be offered one hour of paid rest for every four hours worked and two 10 minute paid rest periods within each four hour period worked.

Thank you, 

Your VertiSource HR Team

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