October 19, 2021

Volume XI, Number 292


October 18, 2021

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California Employment Law: What's on Your Wage Statements?

California has many requirements for the content of an employee wage statement, including this year’s new requirements for employees paid by a piece rate. Employees paid by piece rates must be separately compensated for rest and recovery periods and, where the employee does not earn at least minimum wage in addition to the piece rate, must be separately paid for non-productive time. The amount of time for these periods, the applicable rates of pay, and gross wages for these periods is required to be on the wage statement. 

A wage statement is either a detachable part of the paycheck or a separate writing showing required information. It is important to make sure your employee wage statements comply with the law because substantial penalties and other damages can be awarded for noncompliance. The following information is required to be on itemized statements:

  •  Gross wages earned

  •  Net wages earned

  •  Total hours worked (not required for salaried exempt employees)

  •  All applicable hourly rates in effect during the pay period, and the corresponding number of hours worked at each hourly rate by the employee

  •  The number of piece-rate units earned and any applicable piece rate if the employee is paid on a piece rate basis

  •  New in 2016. For employees paid a piece rate:

    • a.   the total number of hours of compensable rest and recovery time, the rate of pay for that time, and gross wages earned for that time, and

    • b.   the total number of hours of compensable non-productive time, the rate of pay for that time, and gross wages earned for that time (not applicable if employee paid at least minimum wage for all hours worked which is in addition to the piece rate).

  • All deductions (all deductions made on written orders of the employee may be aggregated and shown as one item)

  • The inclusive dates of the period for which the employee is paid

  • The name of the employee and the last four digits of his or her social security number or an employee identification number other than a social security number

  • The name and address of the legal entity that is the employer

  • New in 2015: The amount of paid sick leave an employee has available.  If the employer provides unlimited sick leave the statement must state “unlimited.” If an employer is eligible to use a Paid Time Off program to comply with the paid sick leave law, the amount of PTO available must be listed on the wage statement.

Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2021National Law Review, Volume VI, Number 119

About this Author

Jeanette R. Youngblood
Of Counsel

Jeanette R. Youngblood is Of Counsel in the Sacramento, California office of Jackson Lewis P.C. She provides advice and counsel to private and public sector employers on issues related to employment law, including disability management and administration of leave entitlements.

In addition, Ms. Youngblood has litigated extensively in federal and state courts representing both plaintiffs and defendants. Her litigation experience on behalf of public agencies includes writ proceedings and administrative appeals. Ms. Youngblood...

Dale R. Kuykendall, Labor and Employment Attorney, Jackson Lewis Law Firm

Dale R. Kuykendall is a Principal in the Sacramento, California, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. His practice focuses on advising and counseling employers in the hiring, supervision and termination of employees.

In addition to his advice and counsel practice, Mr. Kuykendall has successfully litigated a wide variety of employment cases through trial, including claims of unfair competition, breach of contract, discrimination, harassment and wrongful termination.

Prior to joining Jackson Lewis...