not paying employees on time

Your employer needs to pay you an appropriate wage rate, and your employer needs to pay you on time.

If your employer fails to do either, you have a right to file a wage complaint against them to make them pay you what you’re owed.

Depending on your situation, your employer might owe you the full amount of a late paycheck and penalties for their failure to comply with California laws against not paying employee timely.

Whatever you are owed, the Workplace Rights Law Group, can help make sure you get it.

We know the employers’ playbook for legal complaints, and we are ready to use this advantage to fight for you.

To get started, contact our California employment lawyers today.

When Does My Employer Need to Pay Me?

Under California law, employers normally need to pay their employees twice a month and in compliance with this schedule:

  • For money earned between the 1st and the 15th of each month: pay by the 26th of the month; and
  • For money earned between the 16th and the last day of each month: pay by the 10th of the following month.

If you are the type of employee who receives payment once a month, your employer needs to pay you on or before the 26th of each month.

And if your employer pays you more frequently, they need to pay you within seven days after the end of any payroll period.

Employers also need to post notices to let their employees know when and where they will receive payment.

There are some exceptions to these payment schedules, and they depend on what kind of job you have.

If there is any suspicion that your employer does not pay you as frequently or timely as they should, be sure to speak to an experienced employment attorney as soon as possible. 

I’m Leaving My Job: How Soon Must I Receive My Last Paycheck?

If your employer terminates you or lays you off, they have to pay you at the time of termination. For employees who quit their jobs, 72 is the number to remember.

If you give your employer at least 72 hours’ notice, they must pay you all you are owed on your last day.

If you do not give at least 72 hours’ notice, your employer has to pay you within 72 hours after your last day.

Under certain circumstances, an employer placing a final paycheck in the mail within 72 hours of your last day is acceptable.

Holding Your Employer Accountable

The law gives California workers remedies against California employers not paying employees on time.

If you do not receive timely pay, you can file a lawsuit against your employer or a wage complaint with the Labor Commissioner’s Office.

A successful wage complaint or lawsuit can win you back pay to compensate for the wages you didn’t receive and additional penalty money for your employer’s bad behavior. 

What Is the Penalty for California Employers Not Paying Their Employees On Time?  

Some employers need to learn harsher lessons about their violations of wage laws. These harsher lessons can come in the form of financial and criminal penalties.

Employers who fail to pay their employees on time are subject to a $100 penalty for each violation.

Employers have to pay $200 plus 25% of unlawfully withheld wage amounts for subsequent violations.

Also, if the Labor Commissioner notifies your employer that they owe you money and your employer does not pay within 10 days, your employer could owe you three times the original amount.

Failing to pay an employee in a timely manner can become expensive quickly.

Failing to timely handle payroll matters can also mean a criminal record for your employer.

An employer who has the funds to do so but refuses to pay what they owe or falsely denies the amount they owe you can be guilty of a misdemeanor.

Furthermore, the California Labor Code imposes a “waiting time” penalty on employers who “willfully” withhold final paychecks from employees who are terminated or quit. 

The employer’s penalty for “willfully” withholding wages due to an employee is the employee’s daily wage for each day the final paycheck goes unpaid, up to 30 days.

Contact a California Employment Law Attorney Today

We more than 75 years of experience at the Workplace Rights Law Group. What’s better, our attorneys previously represented employers.

This means that we know how our opponents think, what their motives are, and what moves they will likely make at each stage of litigation.

That gives us a critical advantage when it comes to championing employees in workplace disputes.

If you need help, you can talk to us by phone at 818-844-5200 or reach out to us online.


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