Pay Stub Essentials: What to Do When Your Employer Falls Short
We are all familiar with pay stubs, but there are times when it is unclear whether an employer will provide a pay stub with the salary or not. In that case, you may need to generate your own pay stub.
Do you also need the employer’s consent to obtain a pay stub? Are there any tools for creating a pay stub? These are the queries that we will address in this section. However, you need not worry if you are new to your employment and haven’t heard of a pay stub.
What is a pay stub?
Pay stubs are an essential tool for employees to manage their finances effectively. They serve as documentation of earnings for a specific period and contain important details such as the employee’s social security number, pay rate, earnings before taxes, deductions, net pay, and other contributions. Additionally, pay stubs help individuals calculate their monthly budget and ensure that the correct amount of tax is withheld. In the case of an IRS inspection or a dispute with an employer, pay stubs can provide evidence of earnings and deductions. Therefore, it is crucial for employees to have access to pay stubs and understand their significance.
Importance of a Pay Stub
If you ever have an IRS inspection, you can use it to find out if they have taken more taxes from you than is reasonable for someone of your pay grade, keep a proper record of your money, or find out if your employer underpaid you during the most recent pay period.
Additionally, if you’re doing multiple jobs at once, a review of your paystub is a great method to ensure that the tax withheld is accurate for each job you’re doing and isn’t being applied to the wrong role.
So, it goes without saying at this point that having a paystub helps you manage your finances a lot. This is why creating a pay stub is as important as your employment.
Is it unlawful for your employer to withhold a pay stub from you?
The quick response is “no”, but the truth is more nuanced than that. Technically, the Fair Labor Standards Act, sometimes known as federal law, governs whether your employer is required to provide you with a pay stub (or FLSA for short).
This act includes a wide range of various business practice criteria for both part-time and full-time employees in all paid sectors. These cover the requirements for child labor, overtime compensation, setting minimum wage pay rates, and tracking employment and job duties, which cover the requirements for pay stubs.
Under the FLSA, your employer must maintain accurate records of the wages you receive as a worker and the number of hours you are logged in for at least three years. Any wage calculations your employer makes must also be preserved for at least two years. However, your employer is not obligated, at least not under this federal legislation.
Reasons for not giving a pay stub
There are several reasons why an employee may not receive a pay stub from their employer. One possible explanation is an administrative error, where the employer simply forgot to provide the pay stub. Another reason could be a lack of knowledge or understanding from the employer, especially if the employee is new to the job and the employer is not aware of the requirement to provide pay stubs. In some cases, an employer may intentionally withhold pay stubs as a means of exerting control or hiding information. It is important for employees to understand their rights and address any concerns with their employer if they are not receiving pay stubs.
State Pay Stub Laws: Categories and Requirements
However, this does not imply that your supervisor can simply conceal information concerning your compensation. The number of state laws that mandate an employer to provide access to an employee’s financial information varies depending on which state in the US one is working in, even though it’s not covered under federal law. The three basic categories that most states will fall under when discussing pay stub rules are as follows:
A) No requirements
These states include Florida, Alabama, Ohio, Arkansas, and Georgia. These states have little or no rules requiring your employer to provide you with a pay stub; hence, they are free to withhold such information at their discretion.
B) Access States
This category includes the majority of US states. Several states, including Kentucky, New Jersey, Arizona, Virginia, Michigan, and others, mandate that businesses grant employees some sort of access to their salary information. This does not always imply a hard copy of their pay stub. Additionally, electronic statements for their staff will be included.
C) Access/Print States
This category includes states including New Mexico, Washington, Massachusetts, and Colorado. Your employer is required to grant you access to view your payment information, just like access states do. These regions are obligated to provide a written or printed copy of their pay stub, unlike access states, nonetheless. The employer must make sure the employee has access to a way to print out their pay stub if they are using an electronic pay stub of any kind. Pay stubs are not required to be included in your paycheck each month in some states, so keep that in mind.
D) Opt-out States
If an employer chooses to use a paperless method to communicate payment information with its employees, which they will have to agree to in some way, then there has to be an opt-out option for them to deliver our paper pay stub copies. This is applicable for Delaware, Minnesota, and Oregon. These states usually deliver the payment information by envelope or as part of a Paycheck.
How to proceed if your employer fails to provide you with a pay stub?
If an employee is not receiving pay stubs from their employer, there are several steps they can take. First, they should inquire with their employer about the existence of a pay stub system and ensure that there was no error in not receiving a pay stub. If the employee lives in a state that mandates access to payment information, they have the right to ask their employer for a way to obtain a printed pay stub. It is also important for employees to familiarize themselves with their state’s laws regarding payment information and what information they are entitled to access. If an employer continues to deny access to pay stubs, legal action may be an option for the employee to obtain the necessary information.
Pay stubs are essential tools for employees to manage their finances effectively. They provide documentation of earnings, help calculate monthly budgets, ensure accurate tax withholdings, and serve as evidence in cases of disputes or IRS inspections. While employers are not always legally obligated to provide pay stubs, it is important for employees to familiarize themselves with their state’s laws and assert their rights to access payment information. By understanding the significance of pay stubs and taking appropriate action, employees can protect their financial interests and ensure fair treatment in the workplace.