California Labor Code §226 itemizes the many pieces of information that must be contained on an employee’s wage statement. These include the gross wages earned, the total number of regular and overtime hours worked, the deductions, the net wages earned, and the legal name and address of the employing entity, among other things.
Many California employers also choose to provide the employee’s available vacation balance (or PTO balance) on the employee’s pay stub. That’s nowhere required in California Labor Code §226, but it’s so commonplace that one employee who was not provided that information on her paycheck sued.
In Soto v. Motel 6 Operating L.P., the California Court of Appeal held that California Labor Code 226 does not require an employer to provide the employee with his/her vacation or PTO balance on his/her regular pay stub. The only exception to this rule is when the employee is receiving his/her final paycheck, and that vacation or PTO balance is being paid out. Then that check must contain the hours totals.
You can read the Court’s opinion in Soto v. Motel 6 Operating L.P. here.
Note: California law treats sick leave differently than vacation or PTO leave. An employee’s sick leave accrual balance is required by law to be shown on a regular pay stub. Accordingly, if an employer offers a single PTO plan (that includes sick leave) in lieu of separate sick leave and vacation leave plans, that employer will want to include the PTO plan balance on the employee’s regular pay stub.