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Joseph
Joseph, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 5299
Experience:  Extensive experience representing employees and management
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Is there a California law that states how long an employer

Customer Question

Is there a California law that states how long an employer has to pay an employee for an accidental shortage on a paycheck?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Brandon, Esq. replied 3 years ago.

Employment-LawExpert :

Hello and thank you for your question today.

Employment-LawExpert :

Are you online with me?

Employment-LawExpert :

Welcome to the chat

Employment-LawExpert :

There are many laws relating to this, and while an employer can technically never pay an employee for a shortage on their paycheck, the employee is entitled to a waiting time penalty and liquidated damages for each day that the pay is late. An accidental shortage is no excuse. Labor Code Section 203 creates the waiting time penalty against your employer.

Employment-LawExpert :

The only exception to this is if there is a good faith dispute that any wages are actually due. Something that does not appear to be the case here

Employment-LawExpert :

To get paid, all you have to do is file an unpaid wage claim for the amount with the DLSE

Employment-LawExpert :

This can be done here

Employment-LawExpert :

Cal. Labor Code section 207 sets up the requirements that you must be paid and when

Employment-LawExpert :

It states:

Employment-LawExpert :

Wages earned between the 1st and 15th days, inclusive, of any calendar month must be paid no later than the 26th day of the month during which the labor was performed, and wages earned between the 16th and last day of the month must be paid by the 10th day of the following month. Other payroll periods such as weekly, biweekly (every two weeks) or semimonthly (twice per month) when the earning period is something other than between the 1st and 15th, and 16th and last day of the month, must be paid within seven calendar days of the end of the payroll period within which the wages were earned. (Labor Code Section 204.)

Employment-LawExpert :

I apologize that you felt the need to rate bad service, if you would like to inform me as to why I would happy to expand further on anything that i have said.

Employment-LawExpert :

Please remember that I do not know what you know

Employment-LawExpert :

More about the California waiting time penalty can be found here:

Employment-LawExpert :

More about the law I previously mentioned can be found here:

Employment-LawExpert :

Additionally, a failure to pay wages on the regular designated payday as prescribed in Labor Code Sections 204, 204b, 205, and 209 can be considered a misdemeanor (labor code section 215)

Employment-LawExpert :

I am going to go ahead and opt out in case a different expert can give you a different opinion. I apologize that I was not able to provide you with the service you were looking for.

Employment-LawExpert :

Have a wonderful rest of your day.

Expert:  Joseph replied 3 years ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Different expert here. Please permit to assist. Actually, I must slightly disagree from the previous expert who answered your questions. Waiting time penalties are only for wages that are not paid at the time of termination, and do not apply to late payments by an employer during the course of work while you are still an employee. Also, under California Labor Code Section 204, an employer has until the next pay period to make up for an accidental shortage in wages. In reality, if you were to file a wage claim against your employer, in addition to potentially ruining your employment relationship, it would take much much longer for you to receive any ordered recovery than if your employer will make this up by next pay period, as they are required to under the law. Please let me know if you have any follow up or additional questions. Thanks and best of luck!