Common Mistakes for California Pay Data Reporting in 2024

California Pay Data Reporting is now required under Senate Bill 1162. This bill requires that certain employers report pay data information regarding their employees the California Civil Rights Department (CRD). 

It’s important to ensure that you thoroughly review your data prior to submitting it. We’ve compiled a list of some of the most common mistakes that you should avoid when submitting your California Pay Data Reporting

Common Mistakes to Avoid

There are a few common mistakes that should be avoided when completing a California Pay Data Report

Not using the correct template

Always ensure the Excel template you’re using is for the current year. Oftentimes changes are made between filing seasons, so it’s always best to download a current version. 

It’s essential to ensure that you’re using the correct type of template for either a Payroll Employee Report or a Labor Contractor Employee Report. 

Not completing all required columns

Much of the spreadsheet is required information, and they are marked with an asterisk on the California CRD Excel template. 

Any rows that are missing required information will not be imported into the portal. This can lead to missing data from your data set. 

ZIP code mistakes

ZIP codes should be between five and ten digits long. 

If you have any ZIP codes that begin with “0”, then you should format the cell as “text” and ensure that the ZIP code is the full 5-digit number. 

FEIN mistakes

Federal Employer Identification Numbers (FEINs) should be formatted as a 9-digit number. There should be no spaces or dashes. 

The FEIN should not be truncated or masked in any way. 

Using the wrong tab

When using the CRD Excel template, it’s important to ensure that the data is being entered into the “Pay Data Report” tab and not one of the example tabs. These other tabs are only for example purposes and will not be imported.

The “Pay Data Report” tab should always be the first tab of the Excel file. 

Failing to use the dropdown menus

The dropdown menus are there to ensure that the correct data is entered into each cell. 

The Job Category, Race/Ethnicity/Sex, and Pay Band columns must each have a code entered from the dropdown menu. They should not include descriptions.

Including Non-California individuals

Only California Employees and Labor Contractor Employees should be included in your Pay Data Reports. 

This includes employees that work for California-based companies and employees that reside in California (even if they do not work for a California-based company). 

Please note: Remote workers should be included if they fit one of the above criteria. 

Discrepancies in employee totals

The California Pay Data Reporting Portal has a “Submission info” page. On this page, you enter the following information: 

  • Snapshot dates
  • Total number of U.S. establishments
  • Total number of CA establishments
  • Total US payroll employees
  • Total CA payroll employees

The “Total CA payroll employees” amount must be the same as the total number of employees reported in your Excel spreadsheet. 


California Pay Data Reporting is required by state law under SB 1162. If required to submit a Pay Data Report and the employer fails to do so, then the law requires that the CRD obtain a court order to require them to file and pay penalties. 

Be sure to avoid these common mistakes and submit your Pay Data Report on time to avoid any potential penalties. 

BoomTax, The Boom Post, and its affiliates do not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors prior to engaging in any transaction.

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