Q. We couldn’t obtain the amount of overtime one of our employees worked in time to include payment for those hours in the current payroll period. We understand that untimely payment of wages could expose our company to penalties. May we issue a paycheck to the employee for his regular hours worked and include his overtime payment in the following pay period?
A. Yes. Labor Code Section 204 provides specific time periods in whichmust be paid. Under this law, compensation for labor performed between the first and 15th of the month must be paid between the 16th and last day of the month. Moreover, compensation for labor performed between the 16th and last day of the month must be paid between the first and 10th day of the following month. This requirement is satisfied if wages are paid weekly, biweekly or semimonthly, as long as the wages are paid within seven calendar days of the close of the payroll period.
This provision includes a specific exception for the payment of overtime. Under Section 204, “all wages earned for labor in excess of the normal work period shall be paid no later than the payday for the next regular payroll period.” Thus, the law provides a limited grace period for the payment of overtime.