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How Often Should California Employees Be Paid?

Employers are responsible for setting up regular paydays, and posting a payment schedule that displays each day, time, and location of payment. Under California Law, most employees must be paid at least twice a month—and even when there are exceptions to the frequency of payment, workers must still receive pay in a timely manner.

Time Limits on Pay Periods for California Workers

State law requires that any work performed from the 1st to the 15th of each month be paid by the 26th, and that work performed from the 16th to the final day of each month be paid no later than the 10th of the following month. For weekly or twice-monthly payroll periods, employees must be paid no later than seven calendar days from the end of the payroll period in which wages were earned.

Some employees may be paid more or less frequently than twice a month, including:

Administrative Employees:

Executive officers and administrative professionals may be paid once a month no later than the 26th day of the month when wages were earned.

Farm Labor Workers:

Workers employed by a farming contractor must be paid on a weekly basis on a day designated in advance by the contractor. Weekly payments must include all wages earned on and before the fourth day before payday.

Agriculture and domestic service employees:

Some employees in horticulture, wine production, livestock or poultry raising, and domestic service workers who are given room and board by an employer are required to be paid at least once per calendar month. The payday must be designated in advance by the employer, and no two consecutive paydays may be more than 31 days apart.

Commissioned employees of motor vehicle dealers:

Any employee who earns commission in a dealership licensed by the state Department of Motor Vehicles must be paid at least once per calendar month.

Union members:

Unions that are covered by a collective bargaining agreement may negotiate a different pay arrangement with their employers.


California overtime wages may be paid later than regular wages, but must be by the payday in the next regular payroll period that follows the payroll period where the overtime was earned.

Any employer who fails to keep to state-mandated paydays could be liable for thousands of dollars in penalties. Please use our website as your resource on California pay laws to research your wage and hour claim.

William Turley
“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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