What Is a Pay Stub? Important Pay Stub Laws to Know

“What is a pay stub?” It’s one of the most useful documents you can have.

Whether you’re an employer or employee, making pay stubs is crucial because you can use them for several things. They help when it comes to getting a loan and they can help you monitor your finances.

Pay stub laws

If you want a pay stub example, think of a piece of paper that shows how much you’ve made and spent on taxes. Knowing what they are and what the laws are regarding them will help you whenever you decide to make them.

Keep on reading to learn more about pay stubs.

What Is a Pay Stub?

Those that aren’t employers often ask, “what does a pay stub look like?” A pay stub is a small document that’s often provided with paychecks from employers. This document can be used for recordkeeping or as legal proof of income whenever you’re applying for things like loans.

Pay stubs provide several pieces of crucial information that employees need to know, such as how much money they’ve earned. With this info, they can fill out their taxes and show lenders they’re income.

Here are some of the common loans people apply for:

  • Mortgage

  • Auto finance

  • Credit card

Whenever you visit a lender, you can bring your pay stubs so that the lender can check your history. Providing that everything is correct, your pay stub will be considered legal proof of income.

The best part about pay stubs is that you don’t need to get them from an employer. Independent contractors can fill them out themselves, they’ll just need to know how much they’ve earned from their jobs.

The Fair Labor Standards Act

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a law that states how much employees must earn for minimum wage, what overtime pay eligibility is, and how recordkeeping should be done. This affects both full-time and part-time workers in all industries.

One of the main problems with the FLSA is that it doesn’t require employers to provide employees with pay stubs. However, employers are required to document all of the information about the wages of an employee and how much they work.

While the FLSA doesn’t require employers to provide pay stubs, some states require them. Depending on where you live, there’s a chance that you may not receive them. In that case, you’d have to make them manually.

Required Information on Pay Stubs

For a pay stub to be considered legal, it must contain several pieces of information about an employee. You’ll need to find out the pay stub requirements by state because they vary, but you can expect all pay stubs to have information about the following:

  • Employee name

  • Social security number

  • Address

  • Birthdate

  • Hours worked

  • Hourly pay rate

  • Total earnings

  • Total paid each pay period

  • Date of payment and the pay period covered

More specifically, you’ll see detailed information about wages, such as gross pay, deductions, and net pay. All of these will help you when it comes to filling out taxes or applying for a loan.

Overviewing pay stubs

How to Make a Pay Stub

Now that you know what some of the things are on a pay stub, you can start making one to use it for whatever you’d like. Many people have a hard time at the beginning of the process, but knowing what gross pay, deductions, and net pay are will make it easier.

These are specific numbers that outline where exactly your money is going. Knowing how to read a pay stub is crucial because you’ll need to follow the same process each time. With the likes of a paycheck stub maker, you can use a template, fill out the info, and print your pay stub within minutes.

Gross Pay

Gross pay is how much you in a given period. This is the total amount before deductions are made. For example, if you earn $15 an hour and work 10 hours a week, your bi-weekly gross pay will be $300.

Those that make a certain salary no matter how many hours they work will have an easier time filling this out because the number will always be the same. If you get an hourly wage, you can expect all of your numbers to vary with each check.


Money that’s taken out of your check is done in several deductions. Things like Social Security, state taxes, and local taxes are some of the most common deductions that most people get. If you have a retirement plan, the money that’s taken out for that is also a deduction.

You’ll need to find out if your city charges local taxes, which can be found in the IRS Employer’s Tax Guide. When filling these out, make sure that you list each deduction separately.

Net Pay

To come up with your net pay, subtract all of the deductions from your gross pay. This is the number you see on your check when you’re paid by an employer. Net pay can be considered as “take-home pay.”

Start Making Pay Stubs Today

After reading this article, you no longer need to ask yourself, “what is a pay stub?” Upon getting a check, you can make a pay stub that you can use for whatever you’d like. Keep in mind that you must ensure all of the info is correct if you’d like to use it when applying for a loan or filling out taxes.

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