If you worked for a company, you have a right to get your paycheck on time and with the right amount. This is because businesses have obligations to their employees that they have to meet, including payment obligations that are required under California and federal labor laws.

When Must Paychecks Be Sent Out?

Under California law, you typically should receive a paycheck at least semi-monthly. If you are a farm worker, you should be paid weekly. Professional or executive employees can agree to only be paid once a month, but the paycheck must be given by the 26th of the month and include the entire month’s salary.

What Happens If I Am Fired?

If you are fired, you are entitled to receive your final paycheck immediately. For employees who quit their job, their employer has 72 hours to provide them with their final paycheck. However, employees who gave more than 72 hours notice before quitting should receive their final paycheck immediately upon leaving their employer.

California is one of the few states that require your company to reimburse you for any accrued vacation days. This applies to all employees, even if you have quit or if you have been fired.

If your employer is late in giving you the final paycheck, they will be fined for every day, up to 30 days, that the fail to provide your paycheck. The penalty is the amount of the employee’s wage. For example, if an employee made $100 per day, then the employer is fined $100 per day for every day that they fail to pay for up to 30 days.

Can My Paycheck Be Garnished?

If you owe money to another person or a company for debts such as medical loans, then the company can sue you and ask the court to garnish your wages. For some debts, including unpaid taxes, child support, or student loans, there is no need for a court order and garnishment can be started without one.

Your employer cannot deduct money from your paycheck for broken or damaged products or tools under California law. In California, the courts understand that accidents can happen during normal work. For an employer to be able to deduct money from your paycheck to cover the cost of damaged items, they have to show that you broke the item on purpose. It can be difficult for an employer to show this, which is why they cannot automatically take the money from employee paychecks.

Can I Recover a Withheld Paycheck?

There is no reason why an employer should be withholding your paycheck. If you are having a difficult time getting your paycheck, you can file a complaint with your local Labor Commissioner’s Office. You also have the option to sue your employer in court.

What Else Do I Need to Know?

California law also requires that every single paycheck include 10 pieces of information. The information the law requires includes the gross amount, the total hours worked except for salaried workers, all deductions, net wages earned, the employee’s name and last 4 digits of their social security numbers, the days worked, the name and address of the employer, the amount of accrued leave, all hourly rates that apply and the hours worked, and if it applies the number of piece-rate items created.

Where Can I Find the Right Lawyer?

For something as important as getting your paycheck, you should obtain legal representation. A California employment lawyer can be essential in successfully obtaining your unpaid wages.