Font size: bigger | smaller

Pay Dates for California Employees

This guide is for information only and is not legal advice. Legal advice must be tailored to specific facts. This guide is based on general legal principles and does not address all possible claims, exceptions or conditions related to the subject matter discussed.

by Marilynn Mika Spencer

California law requires employers to pay employees according to a predetermined schedule. These requirements are described below.

For current employees, Labor Code section 204 requires all of the following:

  1. Employers must establish regular pay dates and provide notice of these dates to all employees.
  2. Employers must pay employees at least twice per month.
  3. For work performed between the 1st and 15th of the month, the employer must pay employees between the 16th and 26th days of the same month.
  4. For work performed between the 16th of the month and the last day of the month, the employer must pay employees between the 1st and 10th of the following month.
  5. Some executive, administrative and professional employees may be paid only once per month, on or before the 26th of each month; this must include pay for work that will be performed between the 26th and the end of the month.
  6. Employees who are paid weekly, biweekly or semimonthly must be paid within seven calendar days of the close of the payroll period.
  7. Scheduled overtime must be paid per the requirements listed above.
  8. Unscheduled overtime must be paid no later than the following pay date.

Some types of pay have different pay requirements. For example, per the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) Enforcement Manual section 5.2.4:

  1. Commissions must be paid when they are reasonably calculable.
  2. Bonuses must be paid on the first regular pay date following the date upon which the bonus is calculated. For example, a quarterly bonus must be paid on the first pay date after the end of the quarter.

For employees whose employment is ending, Labor Code sections 201, 202 and 203 require the following:

  1. If the employer ends the employment relationship, the employer must pay everything owed to the employee at the time of termination, including all accumulated wages, overtime, vacation and PTO. (Labor Code section 201)
  2. However, for seasonal employees working in curing, canning, or drying perishable fruit, fish or vegetables, the employer has 72 hours to make full payment.
  3. If the employee ends the employment relationship without notice, the employer has 72 hours to pay the employees in full, including all accumulated wages, overtime, vacation and PTO. (Labor Code section 202)
  4. If an employer does not pay an employee whose employment has ended as required, then the employer is subjected to a penalty for late payment. The penalty is that the wages of the employee continue in full as if the employee were still working from the date of termination to the date paid in full, for a maximum of 30 days. (Labor Code section 203)

The Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) is a sub-agency within the California Department of Industrial Relations. Some people refer to the DLSE as the Labor Commissioner. The DLSE enforces California's wage and hour laws, including those pertaining to overtime, rest and meal breaks, and more. The link for information on filing a wage claim is here: http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/howtofilewageclaim.htm.

Contact Us

Spencer Johnson McCammon LLP
2727 Camino del Rio South
Suite 140
San Diego, CA 92108
Phone: (619) 233-1313

Spencer Johnson McCammon Weekly

Spencer Johnson McCammon Weekly

Topic of the Week

Leaving Your Job

Read more...

Blog of the Week

In America, Business Profits Come First Over the Pandemic

As social media platforms are filled with angry Angelenos blaming and shaming one another for brazenly vacationing and flouting social distancing guidelines, in truth, the burst of infections is the price that officials are willing to pay for ensuring that corporate profits are protected.

Thought for the Week

"I have been very strongly advocating that poverty must not be used as an excuse to continue child labor and exploitation of children. Child labor perpetuates poverty. Child labor creates poverty. If the children are deprived from education, then they are bound to remain poor for the whole of their life. So it's a triangular relationship between child labor, poverty and illiteracy."

–Kailash Satyarthi | 2014 Nobel Peace Prize Recipient

List of the Week

from Compassion International

THE PRICE OF CHILD LABOR

  • 152 million children worldwide are victims of child labor; 88 million are boys and 64 million are girls.
  • Girls may be more present in less visible and therefore under-reported forms of child labor such as domestic service in private households, and girls are much more likely than boys to shoulder responsibility for household chores, a form of work not considered in child labor estimates
  • Almost half of child labor victims (73 million) work in hazardous child labor; more than one-quarter of all hazardous child labor is done by children less than 12 years old (19 million).

Top Five News Headlines

  1. Employers Can’t Fix U.S. Health Care Alone
  2. It’s essential to understand why some health care workers are putting off vaccination
  3. For Health Care Workers, The Pandemic Is Fueling Renewed Interest In Unions
  4. Women accounted for 100% of the 140,000 jobs shed by the U.S. economy in December
  5. EEOC Releases New Details On Systemic Age Discrimination: What You Can Do