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California Wage Payment Timing Requirements

Filed under Managing the Workplace. Fact checked on May 25, 2012.

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Employers in California must comply with these state rules regarding the timing and frequency of wage payments.

California's wage payment laws cover private employers, agricultural employers and domestic labor boarded by employers.

Employees must be paid at least semimonthly, no later than the 16th of the month and the 10th of the next month.

Exempt employees must be paid at least once a month.

Overtime must be paid by the next regular payday.

Weekly or bi-weekly payrolls are permitted if paid no more than seven calendar days following the close of the payroll period.

Employers cannot require employees, as a condition of being paid, to execute a false statement as to the amount of hours worked in a pay period. Any release required or executed in violation of these provisions is null and void.

Special Rules for the Timing and Frequency of Wage Payments

Entertainment industry employment. An employee who is engaged in the production of broadcasting of motion pictures whose employment terminates whether by discharge, lay off, resignation, completion of employment, or otherwise, is entitled to receive payment of the wages earned and unpaid at the time of termination by the next regular payday.

Certain employees working in the entertainment industry and their employers are permitted to enter into a collective bargaining agreement to establish a time limit for payment of wages after an employee is discharged.

Temporary workers. Temporary services employers are required to pay temporary workers on a weekly basis, or daily if an employee is assigned to a client on a day-to-day basis or to a client involved in a trade dispute. This requirement does not apply to employees assigned to a client over 90 consecutive calendar days unless the employer pays the employee on a weekly basis in compliance with this rule. Certain exemptions apply.

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