Check Your Paycheck

California has the best paycheck law in the country, Labor Code § 226.  The law requires that every worker be provided a written pay statement or an electronically available pay statement containing many important items.  You should check your paystub regularly to make sure you are being paid the correct rate and that your hours are correct.
Each paystub must contain the following information:

  1. The gross wages earned;
  2. Total hours worked;
  3. The number of piece rate units earned and any applicable piece rate;
  4. All deductions, although deductions may be aggregated;
  5. Net wages earned;
  6. The inclusive dates of the payroll period;
  7. The correct name of the employee and only the last four digits of the employee’s Social Security Number or employee identification number;
  8. The name and address of the legal entity that is the employer;
  9. All applicable hourly rates.

Piece rate means being paid by the room, yard, mile, and so on.  Many non-union workers are cheated by being paid piece rates, but they are entitled to know the piece rate and each piece rate unit on each paystub.
Under Union contracts claims for unpaid paid wages generally must be filed as a grievance and must be filed timely. 
If employees are not provided a written paystub but make it available electronically, the employer must make a computer terminal available where the employee can review her paystub and print a copy.
The law allows an employee to examine her payroll records for three years.  The employer has 21 days to allow an employee to inspect and copy payroll records.
If you believe there is a discrepancy, you should report this to your Union representative if you are represented, or the California Labor Commissioner or your legal counsel immediately.  Remind your friends who don’t have the benefit of a Union of this law and that they should check their payroll stubs to avoid being cheated.
If employees are not paid all of their wages upon termination, there is up to a 30-day penalty of the daily wage for failure to pay all wages upon termination.
California law matters.

By David Rosenfeld | September 5, 2017

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