California requires all employers to provide all employees semimonthly, or at the time of each payment of wages, an accurate pay stub, also known as an itemized wage statement.
The purpose of laws governing pay stubs is to provide employees transparency in employers' calculations of earned wages. Pay stubs are transparent when they provide an employee the ability to “promptly and easily determine”: 1) the amount of gross wages or net wages in a pay period; 2) which deductions an employer made from gross wages to determine net wages in a pay period; 3) the real legal name and address of the employer; and 4) the identity of the employee who earned the wage and had the deductions, such as income tax withholdings, allocated to his or her identity.
The ability to “promptly and easily determine” this information means that the average person could easily find out the information by looking at the pay stub without needing to reference any other documents.
(See Link(s): Labor Code Section 226)