Do’s & Don’ts of Talking to Your Boss About Missing Wages

When you get your paycheck from work, you expect that it will be for the correct amount. There are times, however, when something is inaccurate and needs to be corrected. While this may seem like an uncomfortable conversation to have with your boss, it is absolutely necessary because you earned that money and are legally entitled to it. IF you need to have this conversation, there are several ‘do’s and don’ts’ that you should always keep in mind.

Do Bring Evidence

If an error was made in your paycheck, you need to be able to prove it to the extent possible. When you go to speak with your boss, bring your time cards, or other records, that show how much you worked and how much you should be paid. This will help to minimize the risk of conflict since it is no longer a matter of opinion.

Don’t Assume It Was Intentional

When some people see an error with their paycheck, they assume that it is their boss or the company trying to cheat them out of money. In the vast majority of instances, that is simply not the case. Go into the meeting assuming it was an honest mistake that your boss will want to fix. This helps to keep the conversation calm, so it can be worked out appropriately.

Do Allow a Reasonable Amount of Time to Investigate

Once you meet with your boss and present them with the problem, give them a reasonable amount of time to look into it and get it fixed. Companies have different policies on correcting pay mistakes, so make sure to ask what it is for you. In many instances, the correction will be made in the following check, but they may also issue you an immediate check (or direct deposit) to correct the problem. Giving them a week or so to check into it and let you know how it will be resolved is usually reasonable.

Don’t Go Above Your Boss’s Head

When there is a problem like this, your first step should be to notify your boss. Don’t go above their head to their manager, or even to HR. In many cases, your boss will direct you to HR or payroll departments, but your first step should always be your direct manager to ensure you are following proper channels.

Do Keep Records of the Meeting

Keeping a record of when the meeting occurred, and what was said, may be very important. If the issue is solved correctly, you won’t need these notes. If it isn’t, however, proper documentation of what was done to resolve the problem will be essential.

Don’t Be Afraid to Contact an Attorney

In some cases, companies simply refuse to correct the problem, or worse, threaten to fire you for pushing for your rights. This is illegal and does not need to be tolerated. If you feel that your company is violating the law in this way, please don’t hesitate to contact Attorney Carla D. Aikens to go over your situation and determine what the best course of action will be.