Posted by on December 2, 2010

Client C.C. recently posed this question:

“My employer is refusing to give employees their actual paystubs, and telling them to print them off from their website.  They’re saying they aren’t required to hand out paystubs.  Is this true?  Is it laziness?  Is it legal?”

The North Carolina Wage & Hour Act requires that employers “furnish” you an accounting of all deductions from your pay:

“Every employer shall furnish each employee with an itemized statement of deductions made from that employee’s wages under G.S. 95-25.8 for each pay period such deductions are made.”

N.C. Gen. Stat. 95-25.13(4).  It does not, however, require that you provide it in a hardcopy format.  If you approach the employer and tell them you don’t have Internet access and ask them which workplace computer you can use to access the website and print it off, I would think that would be a reasonable request.  I would note that this is my idea of reasonableness; in a brief search, I was unable to find any case law addressing whether such a system was necessary for an employer’s paperless system to be reasonable and legal.

They’re not the first to do this.  My Mom’s employer in Michigan switched to that method several years ago.  However, they had a computer in an accessible area where employees could log in and check their schedules, send e-mail to corporate or store management, print pay records, etc.


  1. Dave Hoffman
    November 9, 2011

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    What happens when you are terminated (lay-off, fired for cause, quit)? In my opinion this is the most important situation.

    Do you still have access to the employee only sections of the website? How long will the pay stubs remain up there? In a perfect world an official inquiry into your pay history would result in accurate disclosure of the history, in the real world I would be concerned about reactionary outcomes where after parting ways, possibly on bad terms, the employer tries to make changes in his favor.

    I wouldn’t suggest asking your employer what happens after you are gone with regard to your pay stubs – asking questions arouses suspicion. I would however keep printing my pay stubs every week and keeping them in a safe place if you have any reason for concern.

    My mind always works backwards from where you engage an attorney. In my business dealings it has rarely been before the problem has happened. The party plotting the outcomes usually doesn’t need to seek redress from the courts and thus advice from an attorney. They preemptively sought what they wanted, fair or unfair, and the other party is now trying to catch up.

    I personally strive for fairness and righteousness but I make it clear these are expensive ideals. Fair and legal can get you fired and uncompensated. C.C. is free to do whatever he or she chooses, be forewarned that the legal process is not about efficiency and affordability.

  2. AttyRick
    November 9, 2011

    Leave a Reply

    All of which relates back to another entry about keeping personal records. It’s easy to forget that in a “Right to Work” state, you, as an employee, are just as much “in business” as your employer, and you should keep *your* business records accordingly.

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