Most employers are good and honest people. But mistakes can happen to anyone. Software and payroll services can contain errors that, if not caught, can turn into long-term miscalculations costing you significant income. And sometimes, unfortunately, employers decide they can make a little extra profit by skimming your paycheck.
Check Your Pay Stub Carefully Every Pay Period.
California law requires your employer to give you an itemized pay statement every pay period. Every pay period. Period. If you are not getting a pay stub regularly, this is your first red flag.
What To Look For In Your Pay Stub.
First, check that the pay period shown is correct. The pay periods should cover every day you worked, beginning with the first day after your last pay period ended. If there are gaps in the pay periods, you may not be getting paid for every day you worked. Second, make sure the hours are correct. Keep track of your own hours and double check you are being paid for every hour. Third, make sure the hourly pay rates are correct. Your employer must list your regular rate of pay and any overtime and double time hours worked with the corresponding rate of pay. Fourth, make sure your employer is not deducting for meal breaks you did not take, or making other illegal deductions. Fifth, keep an eye on your vacation and sick leave accrual. Know what your accrual rate is and be sure it is accurately reflected on your pay stub.
What To Do If There Are Errors.
Bring errors to your employer’s attention immediately in a polite and professional way. Your employer should not be offended that you want to be paid properly for your hard work. Most often, your employer will fix the problem right away. If they don’t, contact the California Department of Industrial Relations Division of Labor Standards Enforcement to make a wage claim, or contact a qualified wage and hour attorney.