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10 Itemized Pay Stub Requirements – California Law

Often, pay statement compliance is overlooked. Did you know that failure to include certain information on your employee’s pay stubs may lead to expensive class-action lawsuits? Under California law there are 10 specific items that must be included on your employees’ wage-earning statements, so your business can remain compliant and avoid any penalties.





Mandatory items to be listed on a pay stub:

  1. Gross wages earned
  2. Total hours worked by the employee (unless the employee is exempt from OT)
  3. Number of piece-rate units earned, if applicable
  4. All deductions made from wages
  5. New wages earned
  6. Pay period beginning and end dates
  7. Employee’s name and last four digits of his/her SSN (employee’s identification number can be used in place of the SSN)
  8. Employer’s company legal name and address
  9. All applicable hourly rates in effect during the pay period and number of hours the employee worked at each hourly rate
  10. How many days of sick leave an employee has available

Avoid these pay stub mistakes:

  1. Not listing the employee’s total hours worked in the pay period
  2. Not including the start or end date of the pay period
  3. Leaving out the employer’s legal name and/or address
  4. Not keeping a copy of the pay stub for your records and for employee access
  5. Listing of overtime compensation, commissions or bonuses in a confusing way
  6. Leaving out an area on the pay stub for double time and any premiums that an employee was paid for a missed meal/rest period

With paychecks moving to paperless, don’t forget that you must still make it easy for your employees to access paper copies! Electronic pay stubs comply with labor codes only if:

  • Employees have a choice to receive paper wage statements at any time
  • Mandatory items are included
  • Employees can access their records at work using company computers or their own personal computers
  • Employees can print them for free at work

Employee pay stubs must be filed for 3 years, and former employees are entitled to printed copies upon request.

Stay tuned for a follow-up post regarding penalties if you fail to fulfill these requirements – fill out the form below to receive part 2 of this series!

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This article provides general information and shouldn’t be construed as legal or HR advice. Since employment laws may change over time and can vary by location and industry, please consult a lawyer or HR expert for advice specific to your business. You can also contact Payroll Systems to inquire about our HR support services.