California Expands Right to Detailed Wage Statements

“Why is my paycheck amount different this month?” California workers can answer that question by simply comparing the current check’s statement with the last check’s statement to find out why there is a difference. California law makes this comparison possible because it entitles workers to wage statements listing gross and net wages, hours worked, applicable hourly rates, piece-rate units earned and applicable piece rates, deductions, and other information. California workers have long enjoyed this right. But what about truck drivers, pilots, flight attendants, and other transportation workers who regularly travel to different states but whose work is based in California?

The California Supreme Court has clarified in Ward v. United Airlines, Inc., 9 Cal.5th 732 (2020) that these workers who work in multiple states (or who work while flying over them) are also entitled to that same information on their wage statements. These workers are entitled to wage statements as long as: (1) they perform some work in California, (2) they don’t work most of their hours in any one state outside California, and (3) the location where they initially report to work (such as an airport or facility) is in California.

The right to detailed wage statements is intended to help workers determine whether they have been paid properly for all hours worked. While many employers pay their workers what they promised, some employers intentionally or unintentionally underpay their workers. If you have questions about whether your employer is paying you properly or whether you are getting all of the information about your compensation as required by state law, contact your counsel, union representative, or feel free to contact our firm for more information.

By David Fujimoto | April 6, 2021

Legal Developments