California Penatlies for Labor Code Violations
Section 203 - Penalty for failure to pay within 72 hours of termination
Penalty: 30 days wages.
- If an employer willfully fails to pay, without abatement or
reduction, in accordance with Sections 201, 201.5, 202, and 205.5,
any wages of an employee who is discharged or who quits, the wages of
the employee shall continue as a penalty from the due date thereof
at the same rate until paid or until an action therefor is commenced;
but the wages shall not continue for more than 30 days. An employee
who secretes or absents himself or herself to avoid payment to him
or her, or who refuses to receive the payment when fully tendered to
him or her, including any penalty then accrued under this section, is
not entitled to any benefit under this section for the time during
which he or she so avoids payment.
Suit may be filed for these penalties at any time before the
expiration of the statute of limitations on an action for the wages
from which the penalties arise.
Section 226: Penalty for not providing a pay stub
Penalty: Failure to provide an itemized pay stub. $50.00 for first
pay period violation and $100 thereafter.
- (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 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 his or her social security number, (8) the
name and address of the legal entity that is 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
The deductions made from payments 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 or a 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
An employer that is required by this code or any regulation
adopted pursuant to this code to keep the information required by
this section shall afford current and former employees the right to
inspect or copy the records pertaining to that current or former
employee, upon reasonable request to the employer. The employer may
take reasonable steps to assure the identity of a current or former
employee. If the employer provides copies of the records, the actual
cost of reproduction may be charged to the current or former
This section does not apply to any employer of any person employed
by the owner or occupant of a residential dwelling whose duties are
incidental to the ownership, maintenance, or use of the dwelling,
including the care and supervision of children, or whose duties are
personal and not in the course of the trade, business, profession, or
occupation of the owner or occupant.
(b) Any employee suffering injury as a result of a knowing and
intentional failure by an employer to comply with subdivision (a)
shall be entitled to recover the greater of all actual damages or
fifty dollars ($50) for the initial pay period in which a violation
occurs and one hundred dollars ($100) per employee for each violation
in a subsequent pay period, not exceeding an aggregate penalty of
four thousand dollars ($4,000), and shall be entitled to an award of
costs and reasonable attorney's fees.
(c) This section does not apply to the state, or any city, county,
city and county, district, or any other governmental entity.
Section 1194 - Penalties for not paying minimum wage or overtime.
Penalty: Full amount of minimum wage or overtime compensation,
including interest, reasonable attorney?s fees and costs of suit.
- (a) Notwithstanding any agreement to work for a lesser wage,
any employee receiving less than the legal minimum wage or the legal
overtime compensation applicable to the employee is entitled to
recover in a civil action the unpaid balance of the full amount of
this minimum wage or overtime compensation, including interest
thereon, reasonable attorney's fees, and costs of suit.
(b) The amendments made to this section by Chapter 825 of the
Statutes of 1991 shall apply only to civil actions commenced on or
after January 1, 1992.
Section 1194.2: Penalties for failure to pay minium wage.
Penalty: Liquidated damages in an amount equal to the
wages unlawfully unpaid and interest thereon
1194.2. (a) In any action under Section 1193.6 or Section 1194 to
recover wages because of the payment of a wage less than the minimum
wage fixed by an order of the commission, an employee shall be
entitled to recover liquidated damages in an amount equal to the
wages unlawfully unpaid and interest thereon. Nothing in this
subdivision shall be construed to authorize the recovery of
liquidated damages for failure to pay overtime compensation.
(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), if the employer demonstrates
to the satisfaction of the court that the act or omission giving rise
to the action was in good faith and that the employer had reasonable
grounds for believing that the act or omission was not a violation
of any provision of the Labor Code relating to minimum wage, or an
order of the commission, the court may, in its discretion, refuse to
award liquidated damages or award any amount of liquidated damages
not exceeding the amount specified in subdivision (a).
(c) This section only shall apply to civil actions commenced on or
after January 1, 1992.