Why you should always look at your pay stubs
Roderick Magadia worked as an hourly associate at a Wal-Mart retail store in San Jose, California as a stock associate. After 8 years of employment, Magadia was terminated. During Magadia’s employment, Wal-Mart used a “Myshare” bonus plan payment. This bonus appeared on wage statements as “MYSHARE/INCT.” Employees who received a MyShare bonus and worked overtime during the relevant time period also received an incremental overtime payment adjustment.
The paystubs show that overtime payment also as “OVERTIME/INCT.” Thus, the OVERTIME/INCT payment is listed on the paystub as a lump sum without “hours worked” or “hourly rate.” The formula for calculating the OVERTIME/INCT payment cannot be determined from the wage statement alone.
Additionally, when an employee is terminated, the employee immediately receives all wages earned through the date of termination by check. A “Statement of Final Pay” accompanies the check. But this Statement does not include pay period start or end dates.
Magadia sued Wal-Mart on behalf of himself and other employees, claiming, among other things, that Wal-Mart failed to provide its employees with accurate itemized wage statements.
Under California law, employers must provide all legally required information in an employee’s paystub. Otherwise, employees should be paid penalties, in addition to the wages. The following information are generally required to be in an employee’s pay stub:
1) The employer’s name and address
2) The name of the employee and the employee’s Social Security or employee identification number (Per the law, only the last four digits of the employee’s Social Security or employee identification number may be shown on the itemized statement.)
3) The inclusive dates of the work period for which the employee is paid
4) The employee’s hourly rates in effect during the pay period. This will include the regular hourly rate and the overtime rate, if any.
5) The corresponding number of hours worked by the employee at each hourly rate. For example, if the employee worked 80 regular hours at $10 per hour and 10 overtime hours at $15 per hour, these should be reflected on the pay stub.
6) Total hours worked. In example number 5 above, the employee’s pay stub should reflect that the employee worked a total of 90 hours for the pay period.
7) Gross wages earned
8) All deductions. The employee may authorize the employer in writing that all deductions may be aggregated and shown as one item.
9) Net wages earned
It is important to examine the information in your pay stubs. Does it show the right number of work hours? Is work performed after one’s regular shift reflected? Is overtime work paid? Is there extra pay for working through lunch breaks? If any of these information are not provided, the employee may recover penalties. Statutory penalties are due to employees while civil penalties are due to the State agency enforcing labor laws – the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement.
In the case against Wal-Mart, the Court ruled that Wal-Mart’s statements violated the law because they do not include pay period start and end dates. Additionally, the Court found that Wal-Mart’s wage statements does not list an hourly rate or hours worked for the overtime pay.
The judge awarded the employees $102 million in damages, which included over $48 million in statutory penalties and $54 million in civil penalties.
The Law Offices of C. Joe Sayas, Jr. welcomes inquiries about this topic. All inquiries are confidential and at no-cost. You can contact the office at (818) 291-0088 or visit www.joesayaslaw.com. [C. Joe Sayas, Jr., Esq. is an experienced trial attorney who has successfully recovered wages and other monetary damages for thousands of employees and consumers. He was named Top Labor & Employment Attorney in California by the Daily Journal, consistently selected as Super Lawyer by the Los Angeles Magazine, and is a Presidential Awardee for Outstanding Filipino Overseas in 2018.]
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