You deserve to have your compensation for the work you put in paid on time. While many people in the state of California receive their wages without trouble, some workplaces, whether because of error or because an employer believes it will be more convenient for them, will delay paying their workers. There are any number of wage tricks an employer may try to pull off.
Paycor warns that employers can be pursued legally for delayed wage payments. For instance, your employer might come to you and ask to defer your overtime pay to the next paycheck. You might also be offered off time at a future date in exchange for you to work overtime in the current period. However, asking you to accept off time in exchange for performing overtime violates the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) even if you are fine with it.
Sometimes an employer will not defer a whole payment. Instead, they will offer you half of your promised amount on the current check. They will then pay the rest along with your wages from the next pay period. So if you are supposed to earn a thousand dollars from one pay period, you would only end up with five hundred and have to wait for the next check to receive the rest.
The U.S. Department of Labor warns against another wage trick that could deprive employees of overtime pay. Some employers average work hours over two or more weeks, sometimes because they pay their workers semi-monthly. However, the FLSA does not permit multiple week averaging for overtime and insists that employers average hours over a single week only for overtime purposes. The overtime must also be paid on the normal payment day for the pay period that the overtime was worked.
Additionally, your employer should meet payroll consistently, no matter whether the employer owes money to independent contractors or to employees. You should not be in a situation where contractors are paid but you and your fellow employees are not. Also, companies should not misclassify workers as independent contractors to get out of paying payroll taxes. If your employer is treating you in a way consistent with regular employment, they should not designate you as an independent contractor.
All of these tactics unfairly deprive you of wages that you are promised and can run afoul of different wage laws. If you suspect your employer is playing games with your wages, check with professional legal counsel to see what you are entitled to and about possible remedies if your employer does not pay you.