Paystub requirement would protect workers, improve access to credit
Posted February 13, 2020 in Press Releases
The simplest way workers can ensure their employers have paid them all they’re owed is to check their paystubs. But Ohio is among just nine states with no requirement that employers provide a pay statement to employees. Ohio Reps. Brigid Kelly and Nino Vitale want to change that with House Bill 137.
A new report released today by Policy Matters Ohio finds that paystubs are key to accessing credit and housing, and a vital safeguard that protects workers from wage theft by employers.
“Workers need a paystub to participate in the basics of economic life,” said Michael Shields, Policy Matters researcher and the report’s author.
Workers need a paystub to prove their income for everything from an apartment lease to a car loan. Public benefits like food aid require paystubs to prove eligibility. When a worker is shorted pay, the paystub makes it easy to spot and correct mistakes. If an employer steals wages, withholding a paystub makes it much more difficult for the employee to verify and prove.
Policy Matters has documented a quiet crisis of wage theft in Ohio communities. Ohio employers steal an average of $2,800 from each of 217,000 Ohio workers each year through minimum wage violations alone—but most cases go unreported.
Employers use tactics to steal wages including shorting workers on hours worked, misclassifying employees as independent contractors, or being unclear about the work period covered in the paycheck.
“Withholding a pay statement makes it easier to steal from workers because it sows confusion,” Shields said. “House Bill 137 would enable workers to prove their income to creditors, and help them to ensure they’re paid for all the hours they work.”
HB 137 has passed the House and now stands before the Senate Tranportation, Commerce and Workforce committee. The Committee should advance it and the Senate should vote it into law.