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Can my employer charge me for a copy of each lost paycheck stub if I need it for proof of income?

Canby, OR |

I need to update my foodstamps and I misplaced my paycheck stubs for the month of december. I asked my boss for a copy and he said i would have to pay him $5 dollars per paycheck stub copy.
if he's not aloud to do this who can I contact?

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Attorney answers 3


To be frank, I don't know the answer to this question.

Your employer must give you an itemized pay stub with your paychecks that include certain information, including pay rate, hours, and deductions. If they did provide you a pay stub but you subsequently lost it and need another, I don't know that they cannot charge you for another copy, and my assumption is that they likely can.

They cannot refuse to provide you a copy, but my guess is that a small charge is likely within the law. Often with records requests and the like, there are copying fees, processing fees, etc. $5 may sound high for a copy of a single piece of paper, but it doesn't sound unreasonable, either, depending on the time it takes them to get it. (i.e., most employers utilized vendors for their pay stub processing which may delay their ability to retrieve the stub quickly and easily.)

Either way, the point of contact for inquiring further about this and/or filing a complaint, if necessary, is the Bureau of Labor and Industries.

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Employers do not legally have to keep copies of your pay stubs (that's the employee's responsibility), so fact is they do NOT have to comply with a request to produce copies of these records if they do not have them. An employer must have the information that is on the pay stub (to prove what they paid and withheld), but it is for auditing and verification purposes (not employee use) and may be in a format that is impractical to give to the employee (either because it is made up of several different documents and/or is on a document with multiple employees). Even if these other sources are copied, many government agencies or lawyers will not accept them, requiring the actual pay stub or a verification form. Most agencies use the paystub as an easy form to get their information. However, if you need to get around paying the $5 per stub, ask the agency if they can send the employer a verification form. Hopefully they will work with you. Most importantly, always keep your pay stubs.


Even if your employer uses a service to process the payroll the employer will receive summary documents showing what an employee was paid each payroll cycle. It should take the employer about 2 minutes to accomplish this task and cost them about 20 cents in copying charges. Yes, I used to work in both HR and the Printing Industry. In my opinion, the $5 charge is excessive, unreasonable and punitive.

My colleague's suggestion to contact BOLI is sound advice. In addition, tell your DHS caseworker about this problem and ask him or her to order the records from the employer - that should take care of the problem and the DHS caseworker should be willing to assist you with this relatively straightforward task. If the employer gives the DHS caseworker any guff, the agency can subpoena the records as necessary. Yes, I used to work at DHS too.

Disclaimer Information on this site is provided by Brian Scott Wayson as general information, not legal advice, and use of this information does not establish an attorney-client relationship. If you have questions about your specific situation, please call an attorney.


Without your signature authorizing it, the employer cannot deduct it from your wages. If it does, then you have a wrongful deduction claim against your employer under ORS 652.610 and ORS 652.615.

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