6 Tips to spot fake pay stubs

Published On: March 14, 20230 Comments on 6 Tips to spot fake pay stubsLast Updated: January 21, 20245.1 min read

Nowadays, all we know is the meaning of a pay stub. A pay stub is a paper, which is given by the employer to an employee and appears on the net and gross earnings, taxes and insurance list. Every period creates a new pay stub, by being paid for your services. You have the opportunity to receive the pay stub either in electronic form in a mail, or just a paper. The most common among the companies in 2023 is to send them when you get paid electronically. There are plenty of names for paystubs, some of them are earnings statements, salary statements or just a pay slip. All words for something similar.

paystub

The company is obliged by the Fair Labor Standards Act to inform about the quantity of the hours the employees work and the amount of money they receive. Although, in many countries  it is not required for business owners to send every period to each paystub. In addition, it is a common phenomenon that banks ask for the paystub, if someone applies for a loan, housing or for a credit card. The proper payment and fulfillment of the employer’s salary obligation towards the employee also requires a certain accounting recording of the transaction. It is not a rare phenomenon that disputes between the parties of the employment relationship have as a central point of reference the proof of payment.

The key points of the legal framework that are important to know are the following:

  1. The employee’s statement, often included in the receipt, that he has no other claim from the employer has no legal significance, since a waiver of salary rights is not allowed. Possibly it could support the foundation of dilution of right in case of non-pursuance of wage claims for a sufficient period of time, but this has other conditions and a signature of the employee is not sufficient.
  2. Accordingly, the statement that this transaction results in full payment of the employee’s claims has no legal significance and does not deprive the employee of any rights.
  3. It is the employer’s responsibility to issue a settlement note when paying the employee’s wages. In a different situation, he has to face Fair Labor.
  4. The payment receipt must be detailed, i.e. it must include all the individual funds of the salary payment. The detail of the receipt is an element of the “propriety” of the payment and is thus a condition of the probative value of the receipt.
  5. The employer is obliged to provide the employee with a detailed invoice, if requested. If he does not do so, he fulfills his obligations improperly and the employee can file a complaint, consider that a unilateral harmful change has occurred, submit a complaint to the Labor Inspectorate or consider this fact as an important reason for terminating the employment contract.
  6. In any case, the employee reserves the right to challenge the receipt as fake or fictitious. It follows that the pleading and production of a private document in proof of a material claim involves a party’s assertion as to the authenticity of the document. The opposing party has the obligation to declare immediately whether he recognizes or denies the authenticity of the signature of the document. In case of refusal, the party who invokes the private document has the obligation to prove the authenticity, by any evidentiary means. Once the authenticity is acknowledged or proven, the private document is complete proof that the statement it contains came from its issuer. With regard to this issue, the origin, that is, the declaration by the issuer of the document, is an irrefutable presumption, which cannot be overturned except by attacking the document as a forgery.

paystub in envelope

By signing inaccurate payment receipts, the employee does not lose his rights. Very often, employees are forced, under employer pressure or even under threat of dismissal, to sign documents, the content of which is inaccurate. Fortunately, there are the best independent contractor jobs. One case that is often encountered in the working reality is that of an inaccurate payment receipt. Thus, while the employee has not received his due wages, nevertheless, having no room to dispute the actions of the employer, he is forced to sign receipts, in which it is falsely stated that he has been paid in full. In other words, he is forced to sign that he received his money, when this never happened.

If the employee then sues the employer for back wages, it is common for the employer to provide the court with the payment receipts that the employee was forced to sign, to prove that he is owed nothing. However, if the payment receipt is not detailed, in accordance with the above, it does not mention the individual sums of money allegedly paid, the reason for the payment of each of them, the period of time to which the payment corresponds, as well as the time of payment of each individual amount of money, then it is considered indefinite and is not taken into account by the court. For example, if the employee signed a document stating inaccurately that: “I have received my salary for February 2022 and I declare that I have been paid in full and in full and that I retain no other claim against my employer,” that document is vague and has no probative value.

After all, according to the settled jurisprudence on the matter, the employee’s statement that all his claims, stemming from the employment contract, have been paid, and that he does not have or maintain any other claim against the employer, does not constitute a valid statement that he renounces his claims, if the sums paid on a case-by-case basis and for each cause are not mentioned in this statement. Based on the above, even if the employee was forced to put his signature on payment receipts, without, however, actually being paid, the signing of these documents should not discourage him from asserting his rights, since, according to according to established jurisprudence, non-detailed payment receipts are not taken into account by the court.



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