What is a Company's Obligations when an Employee Requests Copies of all Payroll-Related Records?

Under California Labor Code § 226, California employers are required to furnish employees with itemized wage statements that show nine (9) specific categories of information, such as all hourly rates, hours worked, gross wages earned, etc. The employer must provide these wage statements at the time employees are paid or semi-monthly. The scope of this one is easier than California Labor Code §1198.5. In addition to requiring itemized wage statements, this section also requires the employer to produce those wage statements to employees on request or a computer-generated report that shows all nine (9) categories of information required. Employers must make the records available to the employee within twenty-one (21) days.

California Labor Code §226 also authorizes the employee to sue for a court order requiring the employer to produce the information and also a penalty of $750, and employees can also recover attorneys’ fees for bringing the lawsuit.

Violation of the statute is also a criminal infraction, however, unlike California Labor Code §1198.5, there is no exception for pending litigation. Further discussion of the other statutory provisions requesting copies of personnel records and signed documents can be found in other FAQ’s.

Lisa Sherman
California Labor & Employment Attorney