What to Do If an Employer Made a Mistake on Your Paycheck

If you notice an error on your paycheck, you might think, “My employer made a mistake on my paycheck; what do I do?” The first step is to review the information on your pay stub carefully. Your objective should be to pinpoint the exact cause of the discrepancy, whether it relates to work hours, pay rates, or deductions. After identifying the error, promptly report it to your employer. To ensure a smooth resolution, document the matter in writing. While payroll inaccuracies are often unintentional, most employers are eager to remedy the issue. Keeping a written record of the problem can help facilitate a quick and constructive resolution.

If your employer fails to acknowledge your report or neglects to fix the inaccuracy within a reasonable period, consider taking action. California payroll mistakes law mandates that employers pay their employees the wages they have earned and promptly correct any payroll errors. Working with a skilled attorney at Starpoint Law, LLC is one way to ensure that your rights are protected and that employers pay you what you earn. Don’t let your employer get away with ignoring your concerns—stand up for yourself by taking the necessary steps to hold them accountable.

Why Do Paycheck Discrepancies Occur?

Errors in payroll processing are relatively common in workplaces and can arise from various sources. Understanding how these compensation errors occur can empower employees to be more vigilant. Payroll discrepancies can occur in the following ways:

  • Technical glitches in the payroll system;
  • Lack of adequate training;
  • Inaccurate recording of working hours;
  • Misclassification of employees;
  • Complex or hard-to-understand payroll laws;
  • Mistakes in data entry;
  • Failure to stay current with regulatory changes;
  • Outdated or inefficient payroll systems;
  • Errors in benefit deductions; and
  • Communication breakdowns within the organization.

At Starpoint Law, we have the expertise to address and resolve these issues effectively. More importantly, we understand the stress and frustration accompanying payroll inaccuracies and can walk you through your rights and remedies with compassion so that you know the best steps to take.

What Protections Do California Employees Have Against Payroll Mistakes?

California labor laws protect employee earnings. These protections ensure employers pay wages fairly and on time. In some cases, disbursement delays may also lead to penalties, which apply to all wage types, including overtime and vacation pay. Other protections include:

  • Employers may not offset overpayments by diminishing future paychecks;
  • Payroll errors that result in underpayment may incur legal penalties, regardless of the employer’s intentions;
  • Employers must furnish detailed pay stubs semi-monthly or on payday, irrespective of the chosen payment method;
  • Deductions from wages are strictly regulated and permissible only under specific conditions, such as with the employee’s explicit consent;
  • Employees are entitled to receive their compensation at least bi-monthly, with distinct regulations concerning final paychecks; and
  • Employers may not deduct wages for employee negligence.

Starpoint Law can assist you if you suspect your employer violates California payroll regulations. We can evaluate your wage claim, assist you in devising an effective strategy, and safeguard your wage entitlements.

How Long Does an Employer Have to Correct a Payroll When It Is Wrong in California?

Employers in California must make a genuine effort to rectify payroll inaccuracies and comply with the law promptly. If an employer is uncooperative or the payroll discrepancy persists, you may have grounds for a legal claim. Under California law, an employer who intentionally withholds owed wages may face legal consequences known as the “waiting time penalty.” Under the “waiting time penalty,” if an employer makes an error in an employee’s pay, the employee is entitled to receive a full day’s wages at their standard rate for each day it takes their employer to address the error. This entitlement is limited to a maximum of 30 days.

What Steps Should I Take If My Paycheck Is Incorrect?

At Starpoint Law, we are familiar with the intricacies associated with payroll errors and are committed to safeguarding our clients’ rights. When your paycheck is inaccurate, it can be a potential legal matter requiring immediate attention. Upon discovering an error, it is imperative to follow these steps:

  • Communicate—reach out to your employer, explain the specific issue, and provide any supporting documentation, such as timecards or records of hours worked;
  • Ask for a correction—politely ask your employer to remedy the error and issue a revised paycheck;
  • Document all correspondence—maintain thorough records of all interactions with your employer regarding the matter, including emails, letters, or notes; and
  • File a wage claim—if your employer remains unresponsive or refuses to make necessary corrections, contemplate filing a wage claim online with the California Labor Commissioner’s Office.

If you have a complex claim, need advice, or your employer refuses to comply, contact Starpoint Law. We are here to provide expert guidance, assist you in filing a claim or lawsuit, and skillfully negotiate on your behalf. You can count on us to be your advocate and help you navigate through any challenges that come your way.

Starpoint Law, LLC, Your Payroll Rights Advocates

If you ever ask yourself, “My employer made a mistake on my paycheck; what steps should I take?” rest assured that when you work with Starpoint Law, you have a dedicated team ready to advocate for your workplace rights. Our experienced lawyers have handled numerous wage and hour disputes. We understand that every payroll issue is different and pride ourselves in offering personalized strategies to meet your needs. We are committed to delivering optimal results and work closely with our clients to ensure we provide the best possible solutions. At Starpoint Law, we only take on cases that we know we can win, allowing us to focus on both case and client—a strategy that has resulted in over $11M in settlements and verdicts for our clients. If you need help, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are always here to provide you with the support you need.

Author Photo

Aidin Ghavimi

Aidin is a partner at Starpoint LC, Attorneys at Law, and focuses on personal injury and employment law cases in and around Southern California. He earned his Juris Doctorate from the Loyola School of Law and his Bachelor’s from USC. Aidin’s primary goal is to bring justice to his clients and to ensure they are able to move on with their lives after a serious injury.

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