In the workplace, it is proper for employers to send their employees a pay stub. The document contains details of the employee's earnings. In addition to showing the gross earnings, payroll stubs provide details like deductions on your wages, taxes, overtime pay, net salary, loan repayments, etc. 

Employers store the employee's payroll details in their databases for safekeeping and convenient retrieval. Furthermore, as an employee, you can understand your tax obligations by studying the information on your pay stub. But can an employer withhold your pay stubs without violating the pay stub law? Let's go into the detailed steps you can take if an employer refuses to give you a pay stub.

Do Employers Have to Provide Pay Stubs?

According to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employers must safeguard employees' records about their salaries and wages. Therefore, they should keep these documents in their databases for at least three years. While keeping these records is required to satisfy the terms of the FLSA, the requirement is optional at the federal level. Some states even require employers to submit pay stubs physically. In other words, different states have unique legal requirements regarding pay stubs.

What If My Employer Doesn't Give Me A Pay Stub?

What If Your Employer Doesn't Give You Pay Stub

Even if the state doesn't require the employer to submit employees' pay stubs regularly, it is the right of the employee to access their pay stubs regularly. Additionally, the law grants employees the liberty to access all their previous files, even during a dispute. Again, pay stubs provide transparency between the state and employer regarding the employee's wage documentation. Despite state laws that may not require payroll documentation at all times, employers should be ready to provide it upon request. Failure by an employer to provide pay stubs prompts the government to suspect the employer regarding transparency around the employee's salaries.

Can A Previous Employer Refuse to Provide Past Pay Stubs?

It is common for employers to ask for copies of your previous pay stubs when you switch jobs. For example, interview panelists may want to know whether you have the required experience for the post they want to fill. By doing so, your new employer would want to know a few details about your previous salary or tax information. 

Insisting on receiving a pay stub is recommended if your employer refuses to provide one. However, if you find them adamant about their refusal, try requesting it in writing. In your request letter, ask them to acknowledge receipt of your document. Unfortunately, some employers may refuse to acknowledge your request for whatever reason. Then, of course, you can lodge your complaint with the Wage and Hour Division in your state's Department of Labor.

While in pursuit of your pay stubs from your previous employer, remember that it is the employer's (by law) responsibility to provide you with a pay stub. An employer who denies you a pay stub is probably trying to conceal or aims at withholding tax information instead of availing it to the government. If you suspect so, contact the Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division for help.

What Are Some Reasons That Employers Don't Give Their Employees Pay Stubs?

Pay stubs show individual itemized details with a reason for every deduction or increment made. Some probable reasons employers avoid giving pay stubs to employees include evading FICA taxes. Alternatively, they could be levying unfair deductions on the employee's salary without their knowledge.

Another reason why some employers don't give paychecks is because many employees deposit their paychecks directly into their bank accounts. Additionally, some companies post their employees' pay stubs online, which they can download. However, an employee may still request a paper copy from the employer, which is a great option if you are wondering how to get a check stub.

Some employers even provide a specific/secluded room for employees to print out their pay stubs. If you have such an option, try to get pay stubs from DoorDash.

Doordash is a legit online service provider that allows you to obtain a printout of your payroll stubs. It is the best pay stub generator for employees paid in cash. Although federal law doesn't require every employer to provide pay stubs to their employees, you can still sue them for denying you those records contrary to FLSA recordkeeping terms.

What Are the Consequences of Breaking Pay Stub Requirements?

If an employer deliberately denies you your pay stub, the law allows you to file a lawsuit, as provided by the Department of Labor. For instance, the state of Florida would help determine why there has been a refusal. If it is proven that the employer is guilty of denying you your pay stub, the Department of Labor will compel the employer to give you your pay stub.

How to Get Pay Stubs from Employers

Call or visit the employer's human resources department and request your pay stub. Check the company's official website if there's information about how to get checks or payroll stubs through downloads. Contact the same department as your previous employer if you need your previous wage information. They may refer you to the accounts office.

What to Do If My Salary Is Direct Deposited and I Don't Get Pay Stub

Regardless of whether your employer provides pay stubs, you can still obtain them online. The employer can use an employee pay stub maker to produce a pay stub commensurate with your earnings, even if you get paid through direct bank deposit. They can then send it to you via email or regular mail or hand it over to you directly.

Can I Sue My Employer for Not Giving Me Pay Stubs?

You may observe that your unpaid wages may be incorrect if your employer fails to provide you with a pay stub, thus keeping you from receiving your paycheck. Such a scenario grants you the right to institute a legal proceeding against your employer. Contact the Labor Department with your concerns.


1. How do I show proof of income if I get paid cash?

Banks often use statements to gauge someone's income and the type of transactions they make. If you receive cash yet require proof of your income, try getting a letter from the employer. Provide documents, such as utility bills, that indicate your spending habits. Read this article to know what to do if you don't have pay stubs.

2. What to do if the employer refuses to give pay stubs

If an employer is deliberately unwilling to provide you with a pay stub, you sue the company so they can obtain the records for you. The employer may have to pay penalties depending on the laws of a particular state.

3. Can a previous employer refuse to send me pay stubs if I was an independent contractor?

Contact their accounting department to know whether your previous employer will provide your pay stubs. An attorney would also do the follow-up for a fee. Make sure to do so before three years lapse. Your previous employer may charge you for their time. You may also get your pay stub via online pay stub creators.

4. Is it legal for a potential employer to ask for a pay stub?

The laws do not prohibit employers from asking you to provide pay stubs from a previous employer. However, many employers use this information to determine your previous job history and salary. They may want to know the range of salaries to pay you. If you don't feel obligated to reveal this information, you are free to decline the job offer.

5. What happens when a company pays employees with a personal check without a pay stub every pay period?

The law doesn't discriminate against the source of the paycheck. However, some states demand that employers provide minimal information on employee pay stubs. Such information includes mandatory deductions and gross pay.

Final Thoughts on Employer Refusing to Give Pay Stubs

In conclusion, a pay stub communicates an employee's and employer's transactions regarding their salary and deductions. Therefore, as an employee, you need to understand the terms and regulations provided by the Department of Labor. The employer must adhere to these terms, but the laws differ from one state to another. Therefore, it would be best to understand the various federal income tax laws surrounding an employee's pay stub.