Can an employer manually change a check stub and just pay you whatever they want?

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Can an employer manually change a check stub and just pay you whatever they want?

My former employer issued a check stub, but before she wrote the check
to pay us, she manually changed the amount and just paid us for what she
wanted instead of what we worked. Is this legal?

Asked on October 18, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Arkansas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

When you work, you work pursuant or according to an agreement under which you agree to perform work in exchange for a certain hourly wage or salary. If you do the work, you must be paid the agreed-upon amount--the amount you were working for. (An employer can change your wage or salary "going forward"--that is, for work not yet done--as long as you get notice of it, if you did not have a written contract guarantying or locking in your pay: that's part of "employment at will.")
If your employer refuses to pay you what you earned, you could sue her for the money. Suing your employer is, of course, a drastic step, and one you might not want to do if the amount is small, but it is your option. The suit would be based on "breach of contract": violating the understanding or agreement as to what you should be paid.


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