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Is My Employer Allowed to Pay Me Late in California?

Posted on February 20, 2024 in Unpaid Wages

California law requires employers to pay employees their wages on time, late payments are subject to being fined according to California labor code 210. Legal actions are available to employees to collect unpaid wages in California outside of notable exceptions, circumstances, or a pay period’s timing. Employees should submit a written notice to any employer with an established payroll to request payment of wages. Ignoring the request and violating the employment relationship allows an employee to take legal action.

Filing a Claim With the California Labor Commissioner’s Office

Employees can seek assistance in any legal action against an employer willfully failing to pay wages. Filing a claim against an employer and winning a case may also entitle the employee to compensation for attorney and court fees. First, an employee may file a claim with state authorities to recover their pay.

Withholding earnings may entitle an employee to penalty fees paid by an employer for each day payment is late up to 30 days. Employers are required to pay employees twice a month or on specified paydays. Labor Code violations may also be addressed when discussing these issues with the Human Resources (HR) department.

Filing a Lawsuit Against an Employer for Late Wage Payments

If an employer consistently or intentionally fails to pay an employee on time, an unpaid wages lawsuit may be the appropriate next step. Employees have the legal right to be paid on time and pursue legal action when these state laws are broken. The burden of proof will rest with the employee to document an employer’s violations. Seeking legal assistance from a San Diego unpaid wages lawyer can help build your case, settle the claim, or take the case to court if necessary.

Failing to pay overtime wages or wages owed to an employee at termination is also subject to the same penalties as any unpaid wage. Keeping documented employment records and employment contracts creates a link to the compensation you are owed.

Steps to Take to Address Late Wage Payments

  • Contact the company’s HR or payroll department to address concerns about late employee wages. Payroll processing errors or administrative oversights may be the holdup. These issues generally find resolution without issue.
  • Documenting your work time and pay schedule provides evidence that negligence has occurred.
  • Seek advice from an experienced California employment law attorney, especially when an employer’s late payments have resulted in financial hardships. A law attorney in California will understand the laws that apply to your case and help you seek the correct course of action to recover your wages.
  • File a complaint with the California Labor Commissioner’s Office. An investigation will review the facts to determine whether an employer has broken labor laws.
  • File a lawsuit to collect the wages, applicable penalty pay, and the cost of legal representation.

The Purpose of Penalty Pay

Employers who knowingly fail to pay employees on time or do not pay any other wages owed to an employee are subject to penalty pay, as mentioned. Penalty pay is a tool used to encourage employers to abide by the wage and hour labor laws. These penalties may also apply in other situations, such as when an employer fails to supply employees with wage statements or notify workers of their rights.

Penalties may vary depending on the law and the offense. The bottom line is that employees expect and are legally guaranteed timely pay for their work. An employer’s failure to comply with wage laws is subject to penalties and legal action in California. Speaking with a qualified San Diego employment lawyer can be the best course of action in these situations.

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