Clarification of wage statement obligations

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California law specifies what must be included on employee wage statements or paystubs, which includes an employee’s “total hours worked.” But how does an employer comply when an employee is in an exempt position that is not required to record hours worked? Now the legislature has provided some clarification on this.

Labor Code Section 226 was recently amended to state that the itemized wage statement for certain exempt employees need not show the employee’s “total hours worked.” This provision applies to:

  1. salaried employees who fall within the executive, managerial, professional, outside sales, or computer software professional exemptions under the California Wage Orders;
  2. individuals who are the parent, spouse, child, or legally adopted child of the employer provided in any applicable order of the Industrial Welfare Commission;
  3. participants, director, and staff of a live-in alternative to incarceration rehabilitation program with special focus on substance abusers provided in Section 8002 of the Penal Code;
  4. any crew member employed on a commercial passenger fishing boat licensed pursuant to Article 5 (commencing with Section 7920) of Chapter 1 of Part 3 of Division 6 of the Fish and Game Code provided in any applicable order of the Industrial Welfare Commission; and
  5. any individual participating in a national service program provided in any applicable order of the Industrial Welfare Commission.

Although the amendment provides a break for employers regarding this one requirement for exempt employees, Labor Code Section 226 sets forth a lengthy list of other required paystub disclosures, and plaintiffs’ attorneys commonly add claims for technical violations of these requirements to bolster their wage/hour claims. Therefore, don’t forget to review your wage statement obligations with knowledgeable employment counsel.

In Coffee Break episode 25, Chris and Jennifer discuss California's wage statement requirements and explain recent clarifications to the labor code.