Definition of Wages

What amounts are included in wages? We get variations on this question all the time including, “Is my bonus part of my wages?”

The Law

Wages are defined under California Labor Code § 200 to include “all amounts for labor performed by employees of every description, whether the amount is fixed or ascertained by the standard of time, task, piece, commission basis, or other method of calculation.” This is a very broad definition that includes virtually any form of compensation used in the modern economy, so long as it is “fixed or ascertainable” by some “method of calculation.”

Yes, under California law bonuses are wages. Ralphs Grocery Co. v. Sup. Ct. (Swanson) (2003) 112 Cal. 4th1090, 1103, 5 Cal. Rptr. 3d 687, 697.

About Adishian Law Group, P.C.

Adishian Law Group is a California law firm with a statewide practice in the areas of Corporate law, Employment law, Real Estate law and Mediation Services. is one of the oldest continually operating law firm websites on the Internet. The firm serves its clientele via three offices located in the major business hubs of El Segundo, Palo Alto and San Francisco. As of March 2013, Adishian Law Group, P.C. has represented individual and corporate clients located across 20 California counties, 4 States outside of California and 9 foreign countries — in over 340 legal matters.

For more information about this topic or to speak with Chris Adishian:

Telephone: 310.726.0888 | 650.955.0888 | 415.955.0888
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