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The Turley Law Firm P.C.

Is Your California Employer Using an Illegal Form of Payment?

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Many employees cash their weekly paychecks without a second thought, trusting that their employers are treating them fairly. However, there are several ways that businesses attempt to hold back small amounts from employees in order to maximize their profits—and illegal payment methods are unfortunately common.

And, as I explain here - you may be entitled to A LOT of money in unpaid wages and/or penalties under California Labor CodeCalifornia Wage Orders and/or California's PAGA laws

Legal Ways Employers May Pay Employees in California

Your employer is required to provide payment in a form that can be readily exchanged for cash and deposited at a bank or credit union. If payment is given in a check, the employer must legally include a detailed paystub outlining the employee’s hours worked and pay rate.

Your employer may be in violation of the law if you are paid in:


While it is not illegal to pay employees in cash, it can open an employer up to a number of legal actions. First, employers are required to provide accurate paystubs to California workers who are eligible for overtime, even if they are paid in cash. Also, paying a worker in cash can be a red flag that the worker is being paid “under the table,” meaning that the wages have not been reported on the employer’s payroll taxes. This practice is illegal, and can easily lead to IRS penalties and potential wage and hour claims.


Your employer cannot pay you in any method that cannot be redeemed for cash. Coupons for discounts, goods, or services are not acceptable forms of payroll.


Employers cannot pay employees with any method that is subject to a service charge, such as a money order, payment voucher, or any method that requires a deduction from the full amount of the employee’s pay.

Direct deposit.

There is no law requiring businesses to offer direct deposit. However, if direct deposit is offered, it must be available to all employees, and employers cannot force employees to enroll in direct deposit rather than receive a paper check. Also, funds must be transferred to a financial institution of the employee’s choosing; employers cannot choose the bank where the funds are deposited. Even if funds are directly deposited, employers must still provide accurate paystubs outlining rates and deductions.

If your employer is violating wage and hour laws, you could be owed thousands of dollars in penalties and back payments. Please feel free to browse our articles to find out more about your wage and hour claim.

Happy clients with their settlement checks from a California unpaid wages case.
What makes this all worthwhile - when employees receive their checks for unpaid wages!

Pay Stub Violations

What we see time and again is California companies violating California's pay stub laws. The purpose of these laws is so you can accurately determine whether you are getting all the wages that you are owed and that you earned. These aren't "technical" violations. Companies violate the pay stub rules in an attempt to steal wages. We see it time and again.

Working with the United States Senate Commerce Committee 

Bill Turley testifying before the California Senate regarding California wage laws.

Bill has repeatedly worked with the United States Senate Commerce Committee on potential wage legislation. Bill doesn’t work for the United State Senate Commerce Committee. But the fact that they would contact Bill and ask for his advice on important legislation regarding wages speaks volumes about his skills and reputation as a wage class action lawyer. 


Need Help Today?

Call us at 619-304-1000 - If you call after regular business hours, when you leave a message, be sure to repeat your name and telephone number twice, so we get it correctly. And be sure to indicate whether it's okay if we respond by text.

Text us at 858-281-8008 - Be sure and put "new wage case" in your text..

Or leave us a message on this web page


Disclaimer: Please understand these discussions and/or examples are not legal advice. All legal situations are different. This testimonial, endorsement and/or discussion does not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter, your particular case/ situation and/or this particular case/ situation.

William Turley
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“When I seek out professional advice, I don’t want B.S., I want it straight up. I figure you do also.”
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