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How quickly does your boss need to pay you?

On Behalf of | Jun 14, 2024 | Employment Law

You think that it’s payday, so you’re surprised when there’s not a check waiting for you – or when the money isn’t directly deposited into your bank account. You go to your boss to ask if there’s been some sort of complication or oversight.

But what your boss tells you is that they just need a little more time to get the money together. They’re not going to pay you today, but they hope to do it “very soon.”

Naturally, you’re concerned that you’re not going to get paid at all. But even a delay could be a serious issue that means your budget doesn’t work, you miss mortgage payments, you accrue more credit card debt and things of this nature. How quickly does your boss legally have to pay you for the hours that you already worked?

2 paydays per month

As a general rule, employers in California need to designate two different paydays every month. They are not required to have this be on a specific day, although it is very common for employers to pay out on a Friday.

But employers cannot just skip payments or kick them down the road. If the hours worked happened between the first day of the month and the 15th day of the same month, then you deserve to be paid sometime between the 16th of that month and the 26th. In other words, your employer has roughly 10 days to pay you.

Similarly, you may have worked hours from the 16th to the last day of the month. This is going to be different from one month to the next, as they do not all have the same number of days. However, any hours that fit into this timeframe need to be paid from the first to the 10th of the next month. 

Have your rights been violated?

If your boss is refusing or unable to pay, it could be a violation of your rights when it goes beyond this 10-day limit. Take the time to look into your legal options.