At the beginning of every year, we get numerous calls from members asking for their W-2s. We also get a lot of calls asking for pay stubs. We don’t have them.
Your employer has those items. They are the ones who pay you.
We are not your employer. We are your union. It’s our responsibility to get the best contract we can for you and help you when your rights under that contract have been violated. It is your responsibility to make sure your check is correct and to take care of your own pay discrepancies. Scrutinize every paycheck stub carefully to make sure everything is correct.
Paychecks from different companies look different, but all have the same things, such as:
• Gross pay – The money you made based on the hours you’ve worked and your annual salary.
• Net pay – The amount, after all taxes and deductions. This is your take home pay.
• Hours worked: If you are an hourly employee, this will be the exact number of hours you’ve worked.
• Total Deductions – Includes all money deducted from your gross pay, for insurance, Social Security, Medicare, federal and state taxes – to name a few. Also the part of your benefits you pay for is deducted as well, including pension, medical, dental, vision, insurance, etc.
Look at the hours you worked (if you’re hourly), your rate of pay, and so on. It is important to understand all of your deductions and know how often they’re taken out. Once a month or twice a month is not uncommon. This way you can be sure your company is always taking out the right amount at the right time.
Depending on your benefits, the list of deductions can be hard to understand. However, it’s important to check to see which deductions are paid by you, and which are paid for by the company. Your company’s paid deductions actually help you offset the cost of your benefits. This is a good thing and part of your contract.
Once you have determined which benefits you are paying for, verify that the benefits listed are the ones you selected for your family. Be aware of the amount that you are responsible to pay for each particular benefit and confirm that this number matches what was taken out of your pay.
One more thing to think about. If you have requested any changes, say you’ve had a baby and changed your benefits, added a new direct deposit account, or moved to a new address, make sure the change has been reflected on your paycheck.
When you make changes, sometimes things fall through the cracks and this is typically when you will find errors on your paycheck.
So, what should you do when your paycheck is wrong? Everybody makes mistakes and the people in payroll make mistakes too.
If you find an error, contact your store manager, your book keeper, or payroll department. Don’t think they will discover their mistake and fix it on their own. They won’t.
If your company outsources payroll, benefits, and human resources administration, contact the outsourcing company directly – they have experts who can help you there.
Most likely it was just a mistake and it’s not a reason to file a grievance. If, however, it is not corrected, give us a call.
You work hard for your paycheck. So take a few minutes to make sure it’s accurate.