What to Know

What are the penalties for a late paycheck?

Penalties for late paychecks in California.

Can my job pay me late?

Both California and Federal law protect employees when their employers pay them late. If your employer pays you late call us at 888-762-0297 to discuss your case.

We can help clients in all of California when they are paid late.

There is no charge for consultations.

In what industries does it happen frequently and why?

Paying employees late happens in almost every kind and every size of business. Some employers may not know their responsibilities under California law (especially employers based out of state) to pay their workers on time and in full. Others may be aware of the law but choose to ignore it and pay their workers hoping they get away with it, and deal with the consequences if they get caught. Other companies expect fast growth then get overwhelmed by bills and struggle to pay employees. Whatever the justification, you are still entitled to be paid your wages in full and on time.

California law on when wages are paid

California law requires all employers to pay their employees on time. This includes wages earned during employment, and when a worker leaves the company (whether the employee quits or is terminated.)

Labor Code section 204 requires that employers generally must pay their employees twice a month. For example, your employer must pay you for all work you do in the first half of the month (between the 1st and the 15th) between the 16th and the 26th of that same month. Similarly, your employer must pay you for all work performed in the second half of the month between the 1st and the 10th of the next month. Alternatively, if an employer pays their weekly, biweekly, or semimonthly employees within seven days of the close of the payroll period, then they’ve paid their workers on time. Another situation is where union members are covered by a collective bargaining agreement the terms of the agreement may provide for different rules on the timing of when wages must be paid and the penalties for paying late. There are other exceptions too.

It is important to note that the statutes governing paychecks and pay stubs do not prohibit the use of an out-of-state bank so long as the employer provides their employees with a location in California where they can cash their paycheck without delay and without paying a fee. This requirement allows companies to use peer-to-peer payment applications so long as they adhere to the laws surrounding fees and wage statements.

Penalties and Fines for Paying Late

Where an employee is still working for their employer, the penalty for paying wages late under Labor Code section 210 is $100 for the first offense. For second or later offenses - or where wages are paid late wilfully, the penalty is $200 for each consecutive offense, and, the employer must pay 25% of the wages that were not paid on time.

Under Labor Code section 201, when an employer discharges an employee, their wages are due and payable immediately. According to Labor Code section 202, when an employee resigns without notice, their wages are due and payable within 72 hours. If an employee gives at least 72 hours' notice, they should be paid their wages at the time of quitting. Employees giving at least 72 hours' notice are also entitled to have their final paycheck mailed to them if they request it.

Employers who fail to pay final wages on time are subject to a penalty under Labor Code section 203, often called “waiting time penalties.” Roughly speaking, every day an employer fails to pay the former employee, they will owe an additional day’s pay, for up to a maximum of 30 calendar days.

If you pay a fee to cash your paycheck or to get your wages with your Payroll Card, call 888-762-0297.

Federal Laws

The Fair Labor Standards Act is the federal law that governs labor guidelines in the United States. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) was enacted by the federal government to safeguard workers. The FLSA and most state employment laws require that all employers meet the minimal criteria. Employers are required to pay their employees on the next payday following the pay period in which the hours were worked. All hours worked during that pay period, including overtime, must be paid to the employee.

A late payment to an employee is treated the same as a non-payment, and the consequences are the same. The severity of the punishment will be determined by whether the nonpayment was willful.

Time Limits to File a Claim

Under California law, the time limit to file a claim for unpaid wages is typically up to three years. Contact us to speak with an employment lawyer about your rights. We are here to help. 888-762-0297

For more information

If your employer is late paying your wages while you are employed, or if you've left the company but have not received your final paycheck, you should reach out to an employment attorney to discuss your case. Contact the Sempers Law Firm at 888-762-0297.

Because we take work solely on contingency, there are no fees unless we negotiate a settlement or there is a verdict in your favor. Additionally, we advance all costs are will only be reimbursed after we successfully recover for you.

We can help clients in Los Angeles, Sacramento, Santa Barbara, San Diego, San Bernardino, Santa Clara, San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland, Orange County, and everywhere else in California. California.

Last updated on July 2, 2022.

Related Articles

• Check Cashing Fees

Additional Articles

• California Labor Code Section 201 - When employees must be paid.

• California Labor Code Section 202 - When former employees must be paid.

• California Labor Code Section 203 - Waiting time penalties.

• The Federal Wages and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).