Common Wage Statement Errors

Employers know how important it is to stay compliant when it comes to promptly and accurately paying their employees. However, simple wage statement errors can result in expensive class-action or PAGA claims, even when the amount of pay is accurate and timely.

At a minimum, wage statements must include:

  1. Total hours worked by the employee (unless the employee is exempt from overtime).
  2. The number of piece-rate units earned, if applicable.
  3. All deductions made from wages.
  4. Net wages earned.
  5. The pay period beginning and end dates.
  6. The employee’s name and only the last four digits of his or her Social Security number (or an employee identification number other than a Social Security number).
  7. The name and address of the legal entity that is the employer.
  8. All applicable hourly rates in effect during the pay period and the corresponding number of hours the employee worked at each hourly rate.

In addition, California employers have many specific requirements not necessary in other states. Common wage statement mistakes include:

  1. Neglecting to list the total hours worked in the pay period.
  2. Leaving off the start and end dates of the pay period.
  3. Not having the employer’s complete legal name listed.
  4. Failing to include the employer’s address.
  5. Not keeping copies of wage statements.
  6. Listing overtime compensation or commissions for bonuses in a confusing or difficult to understand format.
  7. Not providing the amount of paid sick leave available for use.
  8. Not having a place on the wage statement for items like double time and any premiums that an employee was paid for a missed meal or rest period.
  9. For piece-rate employees; failing to show total hours of compensable rest and recovery periods as well as compensable non-productive time.

Penalties for wage statement violations start at $250 per employee and can go as high as $4,000 per employee.