When I was hired, my employer hired me for $20.50/hr. After realizing my pay didn’t add up to being paid the amount I was hired on for–I even have the email that proves that I was hired for $20.50–I had a meeting with all 3 of the owners. The one who did my hire on process denied that was the amount I was promised; instead I was hired on for $17.50.

They said I was supposed to be working a certain position but after another employee was injured, they moved my position without informing me and promised me they will train me for the original position and then pay me the $20.50.

I am now trained and have been running everything on my own for weeks without the promised pay even though I’ve mentioned they haven’t gave me my promised pay. I asked for my log in to view my paystubs, but access to the account has been locked I’m guessing due to multiple sign in attempts with the wrong password.

That was about a month ago and for the past two weeks I’ve been asking for the HR department’s phone number since the HR department is not in house but a contractor. They keep telling me that HR’s number is private and they can’t give me their number.

My boss says they are the only one who can fix the locked account to have access to my paystubs. What is my rights and what should I do next?

  • To summarize, You were hired on for 20.50 an hour but were only paid 17.50 an hour... Do you have that in writing in your offer letter?
    – Questor
    Oct 25, 2023 at 22:47
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    I got my job offer and what my hours and pay would be via email and in turn I accepted it via email. The only other documents were the normal state required docs for any exemptions, and fine print of the rules of the facility such as harassment in the workplace, breaks, hours and employee rights. Oct 26, 2023 at 3:28
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    It doesn’t help now but you should keep local copies of your pay stub for the exact scenario you describe. It’s also good book keeping in general
    – Donald
    Oct 26, 2023 at 3:51
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    Also, if they are not giving you access to your pay stubs, there is a strong chance they are not paying the state and federal income taxes that they deducted from your paycheck. Without any proof that the taxes were deducted, you could be forced to pay the tax again. (Happened to me decades ago.) So you need to get this issue sorted promptly.
    – mhwombat
    Oct 28, 2023 at 4:57
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    Thank you, I knew something was wrong & they didn’t want HR to start looking into the pay scared of a bigger problem. These people seem to hire a certain type, older individuals who is about to retire and don’t care, others who should be n disability, poorer people who will be satisfied with the pay they got because they feel they can’t afford to either lose their job, those with criminal records, or minorities. They seem to taking advantage or their situations, at least that’s my assumption and what I’ve seen. One stood up to them before I was hired, she gets away w/ everything. Oct 30, 2023 at 18:39

3 Answers 3


It sounds like your employer knows that what they are doing is wrong, and are trying to prevent you from accessing documentation that the state labor agency will want to see to prove that your employer is in breach of contract.

As long as you have your offer letter with $20.50 in writing. You can contact your state labor agency, or the U.S Department of Labor, Give them all the documentation you have proving your employer lied to you. Offer Letter, Pay Stubs, or something else that will show you are only being paid 17.50 an hour. And that your employer has prevented you from accessing your pay stubs to make so that you cannot show them the evidence of your employers breach of contract. If you have your employer not providing you HR's number in the form of an email that would be ideal, verbal is not enough, unless you live in a single sided recording state, then a recording of your boss telling them they won't allow you contact HR to gain access to your pay stubs would be enough.

Note: You will probably be fired if you do this, it will be a wrongful termination in retaliation for reporting their bad behavior to the labor board. But you will still be out of a job. And I don't know what your chances are for a wrongful termination suite. I am not a lawyer.

Best of luck, hope you find a better job.

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    What locality is this answer for?
    – CGCampbell
    Oct 26, 2023 at 12:28

About your pay stubs, the is really a patchwork of different countries that have their own laws. As it stands right now there there is no federal requirement to give you access to your pay stubs. Though most states require it.

If you live or work in:

Your employer is required by law to give you access to your pay stubs. Failure to give you access to your pay stubs will result in fines. Firing you after filling a complaint about them not giving you access to your pay stubs will result in very severe penalties (for basically any reason, it will be seen as retaliatory).

If you live or work in:

Your employer is required to print out your pay stubs if you ask them to. Failure to do results in hefty fines. Firing you after you file a complaint will result in very severe penalties (for basically any reason, it will be seen as retaliatory).

If you are living in:

Tough luck, they don't need to provide a pay stub.

  • Then they are required by law to give you access to your pay stubs. And they will face fines if they do not (if you report them). And they will face even steeper penalties/fines if the take retribution against you for reporting that they were not allowing you access to your pay stubs.
    – Questor
    Oct 30, 2023 at 19:00
  • I’m sorry I do live in Indiana but my job is in Ohio does that change anything? Oct 31, 2023 at 16:56
  • @ChelseaKiskaden because you live in Indiana, they are required by law to give you access to your paystubs. It does make things somewhat more complicated because it is across state lines... But that guarantee of your paystubs comes from the state of indiana towards inhabitants of indiana.
    – Questor
    Oct 31, 2023 at 18:56
  • TLDR: it does not.. This applies if you 'live' or 'work' in Indiana... Your employer probably thinks they are free/clear because you are working in Ohio, makes a lot more sense why they are behaving this way.
    – Questor
    Oct 31, 2023 at 18:57

Your location is needed for best advice, because every country has different tools to address "****" employers

In some countries, like Canada, even blocking your access to paystub and not providing it with the payment, constitutes an offense

But in general, IMHO, you should not try to go to HR, especially when its not in-house and you are actively blocked, but gather any evidence (email, text etc) and contact your local labor department.

This may end your employment thou, again, depending on your location

  • I live in the United State in Indiana, but the job is in Ohio. Oct 30, 2023 at 18:42
  • I saw that Ohio is not required to show you your paystub, but does my residency change this exception? Oct 30, 2023 at 18:43
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    @ChelseaKiskaden What about the taxes? you need to be sure they are deducted and paid.
    – Strader
    Oct 31, 2023 at 19:51

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