There are many state laws governing how wages may be paid to employees. For example, employers must include specific pieces of information on a California paystub, and employers cannot pay workers in coupons or gift vouchers in lieu of wages. In addition, there are reporting rules when workers are paid via an electronic method—also known as direct deposit.
California Requirements for Wage Statements When Using Direct Deposit
When wages are paid through electronic deposit, employees receive their wages directly into their bank accounts. While they do not need to physically cash a check, they also do not see the wage statement that must accompany that check by law.
In order to remain compliant with wage reporting laws, employers who offer direct deposit in California must have:
- Paper or e-statement options. Any employer who offers the option of direct deposit must give employees the choice of receiving wage statements in paper or electronic form. Statements must be immediately accessible to employees on the date of each payday.
- Secure payroll websites. Employers often opt for third-party electronic systems to administer payroll. However, the law requires that any website where payroll information is stored or accessed must be secure to protect employees’ confidential information. Proper safeguards include a security firewall and login information that requires unique employee identification numbers and personal identification numbers (PIN).
- Adequate recordkeeping. The law requires employees to be able to easily find the required information on their wage statements. As a result, electronic wage statements must be made available to employees over the internet for print or download at all times. Employers are required to make wage statements available (either electronic or printed) for a period of at least three years.
These reporting requirements can have a significant impact on a wage and hour case. For example, if an employer refuses to pay an employee for overtime, the employee’s wage statement would be an inaccurate record of the employee’s hours worked. This is a direct violation of the Labor Code, and carries significant penalties for the employer.
Learn more about your rights in a wage and hour case, read through our free book, California Truck & Delivery Driver Wage Theft: The Ultimate Straight Talk Guide to Getting Your Hard Earned Wages Back.