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Can my employer refuse to give me my paycheck stubs, but offer to give me photocopies of it a few days later?

New York, NY |

I work at a restaurant in NYC as a server. Every Friday we get a check, that we sign, and they give us the cash for the amount on the check. We used to be able to tear off our stubs and take them home. But yesterday they said we can no longer take our stubs, but if we want a photocopy we can receive that when the office is open. (We get our paychecks at 4am, so the office gal is not there to do it right then and there.) Is this legal? Should I demand my stubs? Something seems fishy with this.

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Attorney answers 2


NY Labor Code § 195 says "Every employer shall:... furnish each employee with a statement with every payment of wages, listing gross wages, deductions and net wages, and upon the request of an employee furnish an explanation of how such wages were computed..." That being said, nothing is black and white unfortunately. You are right that something seems fishy. I'd be curious to know more. Do you have some of your pay stubs from before? If you would like to email, fax, or send copies to my office I would be happy to review them to see if any red flags come to mind (no charge to you for this). Whatever you decide to do, I highly recommend that if you do want to pursue this and decide to talk to a lawyer that you find someone who specializes in employment law. It may be nothing, but in greater NYC there have been a number of significant wage violations in the restaurant industry in particular, so it might be something worth pursuing.


Under New York law, an employer is legally required to keep written records of the wages that it pays to its employee. Also, every time the employer pays a wage to its employee, the employee has a right to receive a wage statement. A wage statement will help the employee to keep track of (a) gross wages; (b) hourly wage rate; (c) total hours worked; (d) and other information, such as allowances, deductions and net wages. Without a wage statement, the employee may have difficulty answering important questions, such as whether the employee has received correct straight-time wages, overtime wages and other employee benefits.

Accordingly, it is your right to receive a wage statement, each time your employer presents a paycheck to you. You may consult an attorney for assistance in this matter.