How do I recover wage statement penalties?

My employer pays me cash and does not give me a wage statement. I heard there is a penalty. How much is it and how do i get it?

Arcadia, CA -

Attorney Answers (2)

Marilynn Mika Spencer

Marilynn Mika Spencer

Employment / Labor Attorney - San Diego, CA

Yes, there is a penalty for failure to provide a pay stub. California Labor Code section 226 states in part: "226. (a) Every employer shall, semimonthly or at the time of each
payment of wages, furnish each of his or her employees, either as a
detachable part of the check, draft, or voucher paying the employee's
wages, or separately when wages are paid by personal check or cash,
an accurate itemized statement in writing showing (1) gross wages
earned, (2) total hours worked by the employee, except for any
employee whose compensation is solely based on a salary and who is
exempt from payment of overtime under subdivision (a) of Section 515
or any applicable order of the Industrial Welfare Commission, (3) the
number of piece-rate units earned and any applicable piece rate if
the employee is paid on a piece-rate basis, (4) all deductions,
provided that all deductions made on written orders of the employee
may be aggregated and shown as one item, (5) net wages earned, (6)
the inclusive dates of the period for which the employee is paid, (7)
the name of the employee and only the last four digits of his or her
social security number or an employee identification number other
than a social security number, (8) the name and address of the legal
entity that is the employer and, if the employer is a farm labor
contractor, as defined in subdivision (b) of Section 1682, the name
and address of the legal entity that secured the services of the
employer, and (9) all applicable hourly rates in effect during the
pay period and the corresponding number of hours worked at each
hourly rate by the employee and, beginning July 1, 2013, if the
employer is a temporary services employer as defined in Section
201.3, the rate of pay and the total hours worked for each temporary
services assignment. The deductions made from payment of wages shall
be recorded in ink or other indelible form, properly dated, showing
the month, day, and year, and a copy of the statement and the record
of the deductions shall be kept on file by the employer for at least
three years at the place of employment or at a central location
within the State of California. For purposes of this subdivision,
"copy" includes a duplicate of the itemized statement provided to an
employee or a computer-generated record that accurately shows all of
the information required by this subdivision."

The amount of the penalty is discussed in the statute: It ranges between %40 and $4,000, and you can get reimbursed for attorney's fees.

It sounds like you are still working, so there are additional considerations. The employer may retaliate against you for pursuing your legal rights. Even though the law provides a remedy if you are fired or disciplined, that only helps you after the fact and will not prevent you from losing your job in this rotten economy. For this reason, you should consult with one or more experienced employment law attorneys with whom you can discuss the details of your situation and decide on a strategy and if it makes sense to wait to pursue your claim.

To find a plaintiffs employment attorney in California, please go to the web site of the California Employment Lawyers Association (CELA). CELA is the largest and most influential bar association in the state for attorneys who represent working people. The web site is Click on "Find a CELA Member" and you can search by location and practice area. Many CELA attorneys represent clients throughout the state.

I hope you can resolve your situation and wish you the best. *** All legal actions have time limits, called statutes of limitation. If you miss the... more
Matthew P. Blair

Matthew P. Blair

Employment / Labor Attorney - Beverly Hills, CA

Correct, your employer is in violation of Labor Code section 226. Contact a local employment attorney for a case review.

Matthew Blair

Contact me for a FREE case consultation 310-550-1555, email: I am licensed in California... more

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