Northam signs bills requiring employers to provide paystubs

ralph northamA long-overdue victory for workers was achieved this week when Gov. Ralph Northam signed two bills requiring employers to provide paystubs to their employees.

The companion bills, championed by bi-partisan legislators Delegate Lashrecse Aird, a Democrat from Petersburg, (HB 2664) and Senator Frank Wagner, a Republican from Virginia Beach, (SB 1696) will allow Virginia workers to see the number of hours they are paid for, what their rate of pay is, and what deductions are being taken. Paystubs also clarify the name of the employer. In addition to understanding their pay, workers also need paystubs to apply to rent an apartment, get a car loan, or receive social services like Medicaid. Because employers must already calculate the information needed on a pay stub in order to correctly pay employment taxes, there is little extra work for employers.

The Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy led the fight for this legislation and has been advocating worker justice since it was founded in 1982. Kim Bobo, Co-Executive Director said, “Requiring paystubs is a simple, common sense way to help workers get paid fairly and participate in the economy.”

“Many workers are cheated out of their legal wages when they are not paid for all the hours worked, or not paid overtime for working more than 40 hours, or have illegal deductions taken from their pay,” said Benjamin Hoyne, Policy Director for the Virginia Interfaith Center. He continued, “Providing paystubs enables workers to see whether they are being paid their full salary and benefits and they can challenge their employer if they are not.”

The bill, known as Wage Payment Statements, “requires each employer to provide on each regular pay date a written statement, by a paystub or online accounting, that shows the name and address of the employer, the number of hours worked during the pay period, and the rate of pay. The measure has a delayed effective date of January 1, 2020.”  The bill exempts agricultural employers.

The Commonwealth of Virginia and its residents benefit when workers receive their paystubs. The Virginia Interfaith Center is grateful for the work of Delegate Aird and Senator Wagner and looks forward to supporting more bills in 2020 to protect Virginia’s workers from wage theft.

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