3 Reasons Why Your Paycheck is Wrong

If you think nothing is wrong with your paycheck, you may want to take a closer look. Many workers are uncertain on how to decipher their paycheck, let alone how to tell if they have been shortchanged. With nuances in Federal Labor Laws as well as lesser known New York State and local labor laws, you have rights that may be going overlooked. Read on below to see what you might be missing:

1. You are paid every 2 weeks instead of weekly.

If you are working in the state of New York as a manual worker and are getting paid biweekly instead of weekly, you may be owed wages. The state of New York requires that employees who spend the majority of their shifts doing physical labor receive their pay every week. Many manual workers in industries such as retail and construction, are often paid every two weeks even though it is in direct violation of the New York Labor Law (“NYLL”). If an employee or worker spends more than twenty-five percent of their shift completing physical tasks, they should be considered manual workers under NYLL and must be paid their wages within seven calendar days after the end of the week in which these wages were earned.

2. Not all your work hours are counted.

Depending on the type of work you complete, regardless if you are salaried or hourly, you must be paid for all of your hours worked under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and the New York Labor Law (NYLL). Often times, in order to complete all work assigned, employees may find themselves working off-the-clock, before shifts begin, after shifts are over or through unpaid lunch and break periods. Whether these unpaid hours were prior to the pandemic or during, your employer should be paying you for all your hours worked. Recently, many employees have transitioned to working from home and have actually seen an uptick in their hours worked but have not had it reflected in their paychecks. These unaccounted for work hours quickly add up,and often push workers into the overtime threshold. Under the law, working over 40 hours per week entitles you to time and a half your regular hourly rate for every hour you work over 40. If you feel you’ve been experiencing unpaid work hours, you may be leaving wages and overtime on the table.

3. Not all your compensation is factored into your overtime rate.

The lure of some jobs is that they offer bonuses or additional pay, but what many don’t realize is that some industries take advantage of these bonuses and don’t factor them correctly into your pay. Companies often fail include all forms of pay, such as bonuses and stipends, into overtime calculations, as required by law. If you are compensated hourly and receive additional pay, including but not limited to:

• Quarterly bonuses

• Per diem stipends

• Shift bonuses

• Loyalty bonuses

• Extension bonuses

• Completion bonuses

• Pandemic bonuses

you may be owed significant overtime if these forms of supplemental compensation are not calculated correctly in your overtime rates when working over 40 hours per workweek.

What can I do if something is wrong with my paycheck?

Unfortunately, these paycheck errors are not uncommon and are seen throughout many industries in New York and across the United States. Learning to decipher your paycheck can be instrumental in figuring out if you’re underpaid and are owed money. To get a better understanding of your paychecks, getting in contact with an employment or labor attorney can be very helpful. Many offer consultations to get a clearer picture on your specific situation and how your rights may be affected. Our firm, Fitapelli & Schaffer, LLP, offers a free phone consultation that can be scheduled at your earliest convenience to see if you may have a claim. Give us a call at (212) 300-0375 or visit our website here for additional helpful information regarding your rights.