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10 Pieces of Information that Should Be on Every Paystub

Paystubs: in this day and age, not many people think to check their paystubs, especially if they are paid through direct deposit. However, sometimes paystubs contain errors, and it is advised that you contact an employment attorney as soon as possible if you recognize a mistake on yours.


What Counts As A Pay Stub?

A pay stub, also known as a paycheck stub or pay slip, is a document that employers provide to employees along with their paychecks. It provides a detailed breakdown of the employee’s earnings, deductions, and other financial information. The contents of a paystub can vary depending on local labor laws, but should generally include an employee’s gross wages, net wages paid, the pay period covered, any overtime hours worked, tax withholdings, name and address, the hourly rate of the worker (if applicable), and total hours worked in accordance with California labor laws. Read below for everything that should be on a California employee’s pay stub.


Earnings Statement vs. Pay Stub

“Earnings statement” and “pay stub” are terms that are often used interchangeably, but they may have slightly different meanings depending on context. Generally, both refer to documents provided by employers to employees that detail their compensation for a specific period. Here’s a brief distinction between the two terms:

  1. Pay Stub:
    • A pay stub, short for “paycheck stub” or “pay slip,” is a document that accompanies an employee’s paycheck. It provides a detailed breakdown of the employee’s earnings, deductions, and net pay for a specific pay period. The pay stub typically includes information such as gross earnings, taxes withheld, deductions for benefits, and other details related to compensation.
  2. Earnings Statement:
    • An earnings statement is a broader term that encompasses various documents or statements that detail an individual’s earnings. While a pay stub is a type of earnings statement, the term “earnings statement” may also refer to documents like W-2 forms, annual income statements, or other financial documents that provide a summary of an individual’s income over a more extended period.

In summary, a pay stub is a specific type of earnings statement that is associated with a particular pay period and includes detailed information about that specific paycheck. An earnings statement, on the other hand, can encompass a range of documents that provide information about an individual’s income over different time frames.

Regardless of the terminology used, both pay stubs and earnings statements are essential for employees to understand their compensation, the pay period for which they were compensated, deductions, and an overall financial picture. Employers are typically required by law to provide accurate and detailed pay stubs or earnings statements with each paycheck to ensure transparency and compliance with Labor Code 226.


10 Pay Stub Requirements, California

There are 10 pieces of information that MUST be on every pay stub you receive from your employer. STOP RIGHT NOW & look at yours: is it correct?

  1. The first item is gross wages earned. As a working employee, you should be able to see all the money you have accumulated during the calendar year up until that point.
  2. Secondly, you should be able to see an accurate count of your total hours worked. If you are an hourly employee, this is especially important. You should check your own records of how many hours you worked versus what is reported on your pay stub.
  3. Thirdly are your deductions. If you are an hourly employee, you will see deductions for taxes, among other things. Do your deductions look correct to you? An employment attorney understands how deductions on pay stubs work and will be able to easily tell if your deductions are accurate.
  4. Net wages earned is your pay after your deductions. This should also be clearly presented on any and all pay stubs you receive from your employer.
  5. Inclusive dates of the period for which an employee is paid: this means that there should be clearly marked time periods/dates that you were paid for.
  6. Make sure you are you! Your name & only the last 4 digits of your Social Security Number and/or Employee ID number should be clearly printed on your pay stub. If any of these items are missing, an employment attorney will be able to investigate why.
  7. Look for the name & address of your employer’s legal entity. This should also be clear on your check’s pay stub.
  8. All applicable hourly rates during a pay period & the number of hours worked at each hourly rate by employee should be shown. If you are an hourly employee and work 40 hours per week, your pay rate for those 40 hours should be reflected. If you worked overtime or time-and-a-half, those hours and corresponding rates should also be included as a separate line item.
  9. Your pay rate & total hours worked for each temporary assignment (if applicable) should be indicated. This is more for temporary employees, but if so, this should also be included.
  10. The number of piece-rate units earned & any applicable piece-rate if you are an employee that is paid on a piece-rate basis.


What If Your Employer Doesn’t Give You A Paystub? – FAQ

what if your employer doesn’t give you a pay stub? If an employer refuses to give an employee a pay stub, then the employee may be able to sue in a court of law to obtain the requested records. Not providing an itemized wage statement could be in violation of the California labor code. Pay stub violations can be fought in court with the help of an employment lawyer. At Lawyers for Justice, PC the attorney’s waive attorney’s fees unless the case is won.

employer refuses to give pay stub? Penalties for violating pay stub laws can vary by state. In California, an employer who refuses to provide pay stubs could incur a penalty of up to $4,000 per employee.

can an employer withhold your pay stubs? All hourly and exempt employees should have access to their pay stubs. If an employer withholds payroll records, legal action can be taken against them.

can employer charge for copies of paystubs? Your employer has a legal obligation to keep pay stub records for at least 3 years. California employees can request a copy of the records, though your employer can charge a copying fee.

how do i get my pay stubs after termination? If you want your wage statement, but wish to avoid contact with a past employer, previous employee can contact their former human resources or payroll department ask them to provide you with copies of your pay stubs. If the previous employer used an online payroll system, you may be able to log in to your account and access your pay stubs electronically.

how long does an employer have to correct a payroll when it is wrong? There are currently no federal laws on how quickly an employer needs to fix a paycheck, but if they underpaid an employee, they will have to pay them back pay for the interim until the wage statements are corrected.

my paycheck is wrong what do i do? If a wage statement does not reflect an accurate employee’s wages, the employee should contact their employer and make them aware. If the employer does not fix the wage statement, the worker should consider calling a pay stub lawyer for more options on what they can do to get what they are owed.

how often are paycheck stubs provided? A pay period depends on the company. Some paychecks are provided biweekly, weekly, or monthly, but it depends on the employer.


If your pay stub is missing any of these, call one of Lawyers for Justice, PC’s powerhouse employment attorneys today at (818) 647-9323 or visit us at You may be entitled to additional compensation.

Attorney advertisement by Edwin Aiwazian of Lawyers For Justice, PC, headquartered at 410 Arden Avenue, Glendale, CA 91203