True or False: Federal law doesn’t require employers to provide employees with pay stubs.

Answer: True. Private employers and employers in federal, state, and local governments are not required by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to provide employee pay stubs.

Still, they must keep accurate records of hours worked and wages paid to employees.

This doesn’t mean employees don’t have a right to see their wages information, however. Most states have their own laws requiring employers to provide access to employee pay stubs.

Since pay stub requirements vary by state, we’ve compiled a list of pay stub requirements for employers in all 50 states:

No requirement states

The southern states of:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • Ohio
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee

The above states have no requirements regarding pay stubs. While an employer can provide pay stubs to employees, they are not required to.

Paystub states

The following twenty-six states (over half of the nation) require employers to provide their employees with a pay stub, though it is not specified that the pay stub is written or on paper. Many states have reasonably interpreted that employers can comply by providing either a written, printed, or electronic pay stub, as long as the employee has access to view their pay stubs. Some state agencies require the capability to print electronic pay stubs.

Alaska Missouri Pennsylvania
Arizona Montana Rhode Island
Idaho Nebraska South Carolina
Illinois Nevada Utah
Indiana New Hampshire Virginia
Kansas New Jersey West Virginia
Kentucky New York Wisconsin
Maryland North Dakota Wyoming
Michigan Oklahoma

Paystub states that require printed/written format

The following eleven states require employers to provide a pay stub that is printed or written. However, most states allow employers to provide electronic pay stubs that can be printed (with access to a printer ensured by their employer). Some states require employees to give consent to receive pay stubs electronically.

California Maine Texas
Colorado Massachusetts Vermont
Connecticut New Mexico Washington
Iowa North Carolina

Opt-out states

Delaware, Minnesota, and Oregon provide employees the right to opt-out of receiving electronic pay stubs and receive paper pay stubs from their employer instead.

Opt-in states

Hawaii is the sole state that requires employers to obtain employee consent before implementing an electronic paperless pay system. Employers must provide a written or printed pay stub with details of the employee’s pay information unless they agree to receive their pay stub electronically.

What’s in a paystub?

A pay stub is a pay statement that itemizes the details of each pay period’s wages. It typically contains the:

  • Beginning and end dates of the pay period
  • Total gross earnings (pay before deductions)
  • Net pay (pay after deductions)
  • Federal taxes withheld
  • State taxes withheld
  • Local taxes withheld
  • Deductions, including Insurance, Medicare, Social Security
  • Contributions, such as to a Retirement or Pension Plan
  • Wage garnishments (such as child support)
  • Total deductions
  • Year-to-date payroll earnings
  • A total number of hours worked for hourly workers and different types of hours worked, including regular, overtime, break time, double-time, etc.
  • Pay rate

What’s required to be included in payroll records?

As we stated earlier, the FLSA requires that employers keep accurate records of hours worked and wages paid to employees. The following data should be retained:

  • Employee’s full name and social security number
  • Address, including zip code
  • Birthdate, if younger than 19
  • Sex and occupation
  • Time and day of the week when employee’s workweek begins. Hours worked each day and total hours worked each workweek.
  • The basis on which employee’s wages are paid
  • Regular hourly pay rate
  • Total daily or weekly straight-time earnings
  • Total overtime earnings for the workweek
  • All additions to or deductions from the employee’s wages
  • Total wages paid each pay period
  • Date of payment and the pay period covered by the payment

What if an employee requests a copy of their payroll record?

In states that don’t require employers to provide employees with a pay stub, an employee should be granted access to the payroll records maintained under the FLSA’s recordkeeping requirements.

“While FLSA does not require the pay stub statement, most states require that the information be available to the employee, but not necessarily as a paper paystub,” says Attorney Eric D. Anderson of Eric D. Anderson Law, Ltd., who practices law in California.

“Electronic pay stubs or data are sufficient in most places. A denial of a request to access that information would be highly suspicious. Because the FLSA requires the employer to keep such records, even if they are not required to provide paystubs, that data should be accessible and made available to the employee.”

Consequences of non-compliance

The consequences of non-compliance vary by state, but to give an example, California state law requires employers to provide payroll records within 21 calendar days if an employee requests them. Failure to provide copies of the payroll records entitles the employee to a $750 penalty, as well as a claim for injunctive relief and attorneys’ fees.

In most states, providing employees with pay stubs is a local requirement. Consequences for non-compliance vary, but it’s best to avoid a Department of Labor (DOL) audit. If an employer isn’t required to provide employees with pay stubs, should an employee request access, it’s good practice to allow them to review their records.

*This article provides general information on state pay stub requirements and is not intended as legal counsel. We advise you to consult a legal advisor if you have questions.

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15 thoughts on “Did You Know? Pay Stub Requirements for All 50 States”

  1. I live in Idaho, if my employer doesn’t automatically give me a pay stub is that legal? I’ve never received that information but I’ve never asked for it either. I’ve been there for almost two years and never added up my checks because I’m too trusting. Now I’m concerned something isn’t right and I don’t want my employer to get mad at me and treat me differently at work. I need advice I’m having a hard time

    1. Hi Jamie! The majority of states, including Idaho, require employers to provide employees with a pay stub. States have the ability to do so in a few ways that include a written, printed or electronic pay stub. Ask your employer about how you can access them. For more information, visit the official site of your state or read more about this topic here. Keep us posted! We hope this info helps and good luck!

  2. Sally Gonzalez

    I am in California and one of our employees that we were counseling then a banded his job now he wants 12 month worth of paystubs. Is there any law that required me to hand over the paystub?

    1. Stefano Tromba

      Hi Sally, California paystub law requires employers give an “itemized wage statement” or paystub for each pay period (a standard pay period is 2 weeks). Now, regarding your situation, we suggest you check out this link regarding pay stubs and final pay for employees. We hope it sheds light on what you next steps should be.

  3. Hi, my friend has directly asked for a paystub and not been given one. His employer has been in the retail business for many years and pays everyone with paper checks. He had to ask for his W2 in March. It kept him from being able to buy a car last month as he can’t show proof of legitimate income. What does he need to do since his employer has refused to provide him with a paystub and we are in a state that requires it? Not sure where to go from here. Thank you!

    1. Stefano Tromba

      If an employer willfully fails or flat out refuses to provide a wage statement – the employee may be able to seek damages from the employer for each wage statement violation. It’s not a great situation to be in (especially if you’re still working for this employer) but if it’s preventing you from building credit or make purchases (as you mentioned) you may want to tell them the problems it’s causing your friend and determine why they’re not providing it. If the issue persists, filing a complaint may be something worth considering.

  4. How does it work for Salary employees in IL? Are we required to show their total hours worked on the pay stub?

    1. Stefano Tromba

      Yes. An employer in the state of Illinois must show the hours worked by an employee for the pay period for the pay stub. You can see for yourself what needs to be provided by the employer in each pay stub by clicking here and visiting the Illinois state assembly website.

  5. My job has all the requirements of what’s above but on the stub itself it doesn’t have the name of company. And half of the time they either forget the hours worked or the date. Not having an employer name on stub has stopped me from getting bank loans and stuff. Is the name of company required for the stub?

    1. Stefano Tromba

      Hi Nick! Not only should it have the employer company name, it also requires the address. It’s odd that you don’t see any of this on your pay stub. For more info on the legal requirements for an employee pay stub and what info should be on it, check out this useful link.

  6. My employer started electronic pay stubs. I cannot get it to work, nether can their IT DEPT. THEY HAVE STOPPED GIVING ME MY STUBS. Have not seen one since Jan 21. What can I do? Also w2 is on this web site. I won’t be able to get that either. Do they have to mail that to me?

  7. dj Starr Lowery

    I live in georgia. I’m employed by a lawyer. He has so far refused to supply a pay stub. Why? How can I be sure he’s paying his share of employment taxes and that my share withholding is actually being withheld and paid to the proper authority

    1. Stefano Tromba

      Every employer needs to keep accurate records of employee work hours and payments. We suggest contacting your employer’s human resources or payroll department. Some employers may require you to submit a formal request to get copies of pay stubs, while others maintain employee pay information in an online database.

  8. I’m SC. I work in a number of theaters and venues. All but one provides a mailed or emailed stub of my paychecks. Except one that refuses and only has access through a website portal. This is really inconvenient if your not going to see a computer for over a month, much less I work with many individuals who don’t even have a computer, just a phone. Which is unreadable on a mobile browser at best. It it legal to demand a least an email stub if not physical stub? Unfortunately a google searches aren’t clear

  9. In Illinois, are employers obligated to give ex employees copies of pay stubs if the ex employee asks?

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