The goal: Paystubs for All Workers.
Although most workers receive paystubs, as many as 20 million U.S. workers do not receive paystubs that outline how their pay is calculated or what deductions were taken from their wages.
There is no federal requirement that employers give workers paystubs. Often, workers who don't receive paystubs are victims of wage theft, cheated of the pay they legally earned. A Paystubs for All regulation would require employers to provide workers with the information that they are already required to keep and would help deter wage theft.
Interfaith Worker Justice and many worker advocates around the country are supporting HR 4376, the Pay Stub Disclosure Act. This law, introduced by Representative Bobby Scott (D-VA), would mandate a standard, national pay stub and give employees the right to inspect their pay records. You can find out more information about the Pay Stub Disclosure Act and take action here >>
Why is it important for workers to receive paystubs?
Workers will receive more of their legally owed wages. Wage theft—rampant in the U.S.—is especially devastating for low-wage workers. Too often, workers’ pay is illegally whittled down by undercounting the hours they worked, paying illegal wage rates or taking unauthorized deductions. Many workers are paid in cash, by check without any explanation or calculation, or with a payroll debit card that either doesn’t have a paystub feature or that charges workers to see their paystubs.
Without a paystub, workers do not know how their pay is calculated or what is deducted from their wages. It is vital for workers to receive a list of deductions taken from their wages. A recent study found that 41 percent of low-wage workers had had illegal deductions taken. Without paystubs for documentation, workers have difficulty proving wage theft. In some industries, it is common for workers to be employed by sub-contractors who change configurations routinely. Workers often do not know the name of their employer, or have any contact information.
Employers who are illegally stealing workers’ earned wages will be reluctant to document how they underpay workers, so requiring paystubs will have a significant deterrent effect. When wage theft persists, workers will have necessary documentation to recover unpaid wages. Worker advocates report that lack of documentation is a major hurdle for workers attempting to recover unpaid wages.
What would help workers get paystubs?
Paystubs For All is a small, easy tool that can help workers understand how their pay is calculated, thus – to making it easier for them to ensure that they are being paid legally for their labor.
The U.S. Department of Labor already requires employers to keep records for three years on how workers' pay is calculated. It's not too much to ask that employers document and disclose these records.