There are times when an employer does not pay an employee all of their wages. They may not know how to pay a worker properly, understand the law or calculate the correct amount. Sometimes, wages are even withheld intentionally.
If a worker is not paid the current California minimum wage per hour, but instead is paid a commission or paid by the piece, his or her employer is still legally required to meet the minimum wage obligations. If a worker’s wages for a pay period is less than minimum wage, the employee must be reimbursed the difference.
Lodging and meals are not to be taken out of the wages unless a written agreement exists.
Employers may not take back wages earned. They may not pay a lower wage than specified by a contract or statute, and they may not deduct costs for loss of equipment, breakage or shortages (unless caused by a deliberately negligent act). Nor can they take back wages to offset workers’ compensation costs.
Workers in California have specific rights. Aware workers who feel they are missing pay need to consult with an employment attorney.