# Paid Less Than Hours Worked

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Squilly, Oct 4, 2013.

1. Oct 4, 2013
Last edited: Oct 4, 2013

### Squilly macrumors 68020

Joined:
Nov 17, 2012
Location:
PA
#1
Long story. I work for Sears, been there since August 31st, pay is biweekly. I haven't received a paycheck until today, about 5 weeks later. Apparently, there was a problem in the hiring process and I wasn't in the system until two weeks after I was hired. My HR rep told me and was fine with waiting a couple weeks later to get paid (bigger paycheck). Well, that day was today. Time for some numbers... keep in mind this is over the course of 5 weeks in accumulated pay.
Paycheck: \$891.98 before taxes
\$680.89 after taxes.

Two weeks ago, I was told, by my HR rep, that I could receive a lump sum in cash due to the issue but it would be 65/35 (65% to me, 35% to taxes). Do the math. Taxes come out to a little over 25%, but that's besides the point.
Week one: worked 46 hours, 6 hours overtime = 52 hours + 2 hours from the previous week that carried over.
Second week: 40 hours
Third: 40 hours
Fourth: 35 hours
5th week was the two hours from the first (August 31st + full 52 hour first week), included.
Base is \$6/hr + any commissions made. Training pay is \$8/hr, no commission. Week 1-2.5 was training pay. It averages out after commission to around \$8 or so from week 2.5-4 with a relatively large bonus in there from commission. Bonus was \$150. Have I lost anyone yet?
Math (without bonus) :
Addition: 54 + 40 + 40 + 35 = 170, roughly.
111.5 hours x \$8 = 892

I worked 170 hours, where does that come in? It doesn't.

The problem here is, since there was a problem in the hiring process, I wasn't able to clock in on the computer, as normal. For the first 3 weeks, it was all done on paper, which is extremely inefficient, imo.
More math:
170 hours x \$8 = \$1360
\$1360 * .25 (tax deductions) = 320
\$1360 - \$320 = \$1040. There's \$350 missing somewhere, this is without that bonus added in.

What should I do? Feel like it'll be a mess if I go right to my HR rep.

Before anyone asks, I'm not trolling.

2. ### DowdyFick macrumors regular

Joined:
Sep 3, 2013
#2
Well that's an issue. If it's all documented, I don't see how the HR department could refuse your argument.

3. ### Squilly thread starter macrumors 68020

Joined:
Nov 17, 2012
Location:
PA
#3
I expect them to refuse my argument...

4. ### Mr Kram macrumors 68020

Joined:
Oct 1, 2008
#4
you must use a formal time keeping system. get a print out of all your hours for that paycheck. also, keep in mind that many companies can be a week behind in the payroll cycle.

5. ### strider42 macrumors 65816

Joined:
Feb 1, 2002
#5
It would be better if they would just pad your paycheck, but if you do get the lump sum payout, do keep in mind you will get the extra taxes back when you file your taxes. That is just the tax withholding and it would be taxed as if it was a bonus. But when you file your taxes, it's all just income and gets adjusted accordingly.

6. ### Squilly thread starter macrumors 68020

Joined:
Nov 17, 2012
Location:
PA
#6
I did, at the beginning of week 3. I don't know if they still have a print out (guaranteed that they do from week 3 onward) of week 1-2. This already included the week behind of payroll (would be this week).

7. ### samiwas macrumors 68000

Joined:
Aug 26, 2006
Location:
Atlanta, GA
#7
This is why I keep a database for myself. I freelance, so I kind of have to. But I record every day of work, or the hours worked for hourly job, and the wage per day/hour. As paychecks come in, I put them in as paid. That way, I know at any given minute how much has been paid, and how much is still unpaid. And I've used it on several occasions to catch up on missing checks.

In fact, I used it last night for a check that's been missing for five months (I knew in advance that it would take months to get paid). I wrote the guy last night, and he admitted that I fell through the cracks and that he would send out a check today.

Keep a personal record of every time you work, and then you at least have backup when you go to talk to someone.

Joined:
Aug 24, 2009
Location:
UK
#8
Work messed up my hours one time. Unfortunately instead of being cool about it when pointed out and just correcting the mistake, they went out of their way to try and ignore me. So I went out of my way and polity sat at the payroll's office for six hours before they finally decided they only way to get rid of me was to correct the mistake.

If you can prove there has been a mistake, they should fix it, it is in their best interest to do so. If they don't, just be persistent and polite. Sickeningly polite. So they'll get sick of you.

9. ### malman89 macrumors 68000

Joined:
May 29, 2011
Location:
Michigan
#9
Talk to your immediate supervisor/scheduler and explain the situation calmly and what went wrong. They can then (alone or with you) take the matter to HR/payroll to sort things out.

Something fell in between the cracks from your supervisor through HR/payroll.

I used to do weekly payroll for a staffing company (15+ locations with 2-7 shifts each, 400+ employees) and the vast majority of any problems were due to employees not turning in time cards (but they knew I was there so where's my money?! - doesn't work that way bud), supervisors not signing off/approving (so payroll/accounting won't sign off on hours), or a mistake on our end (less likely, but happens).

There's processes and companies just can't skip them to pay employees. Now in this situation, we would do everything possible to remedy it as quickly as possible, but that usually entailed:

- Calling/Emailing supervisor directly or HR to get a hold of shift supervisor
- Having them look back at punches or time cards. If employee didn't turn in, then we must submit to them (scan/fax) time card for approval
- Wait to hear back about confirmation
- Contacting employee for preference: wait until next pay period or disburse early via paper check (immediate unless no signers around) or ACH (24-48 hours)
- If they can't wait, make them sign (e-sign via Docusign or in person) a payroll deduction form in the amount minus taxes (that we need to manually calculate) for the early disbursement (as employers are legally required to post those retro hours on payroll)

Needless to say, Friday were always a most interesting day. Especially with the occasional people who only worked one week, got fired mid week, never turned in their time card, and were super angry about not getting paid somehow.

10. ### Squilly thread starter macrumors 68020

Joined:
Nov 17, 2012
Location:
PA
#10
Ouch. Not a good sign when an employer goes out of their way to ignore you...

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Forgot to mention, my HR rep handles payroll. I just don't see how 60 hours falls through the cracks.

11. ### noisycats macrumors 6502a

Joined:
Jun 1, 2010
Location:
The 'ham. Alabama.
#11
Take your documentation into HR. That is what they are there for.

My suspicion in you arises because you fully expect them to "refuse" your arguement. That tells me there is more to this story. Why would they just summarily dissmiss your payroll concern?

Also, drop the cumbersome math.

How many hours did you work? That is all HR needs, they should be aware of the overtime hours and bonus policies.

12. Oct 4, 2013
Last edited: Oct 4, 2013

### question fear macrumors 68020

Joined:
Apr 10, 2003
Location:
The "Garden" state
#12
Agreed, go to HR. There are a few possible explanations I can see, all of which HR can fix/explain:

1) The paycheck doesn't cover the exact time frames the OP thinks it does, and so a few days the OP thinks are included are in the next pay period.

2) The training time was not accounted for correctly. If his pay changed from \$8 to \$6 two weeks in, it could be that someone didn't code it right, and a correction needs to be created.

3) The OP is calculating overtime/hours worked incorrectly. 6 hours of overtime in retail is a lot, unless it was an inventory day or a similar "all hands on deck" kind of situation. Usually anything over 40hrs is overtime, so I am reading that as 40 regular pay hours and 6 overtime hours, not sure how the OP arrived at 52. But a swing of 6 hours could account for his confusion.

For what it's worth, I've done payroll in retail, and yes, computers screw up all the time. That's why there's an office manager/HR rep who handles payroll and fixes those issues. But they aren't psychic, so if there's a discrepancy you need to bring it to them or forever hold your peace (or hope they catch and fix it on their own in the future).

OP, you have me a little confused with your post....what were your hours worked per your paycheck vs the hours you think you worked? What were the date ranges? That's the first place to figure out if/where there's a discrepancy.

Edit: Hang on...so you've worked there 5 weeks, and just got your first paycheck? If I'm re-reading the original post correctly, you're counting the hours you've worked almost right up to the paycheck as being in in the paycheck. The last week and a half or so should be in your NEXT paycheck, which would account for the missing hours. Your paycheck should have dates listing what you're being paid for, redo your hours calculation based on those pay dates-are you still off by that much?

13. ### Shrink macrumors G3

Joined:
Feb 26, 2011
Location:
New England, USA
#13

Why do you feel it's would be "a mess" if you go right to HR.

What else happened, or what did you do, that makes you hesitant to go straight to HR...one of their primary functions is to deal with employee problems.

14. ### yg17 macrumors G5

Joined:
Aug 1, 2004
Location:
St. Louis, MO
15. ### hallux macrumors 68030

Joined:
Apr 25, 2012
#15
Is the OT policy 2x pay or 1.5x pay? If it's 1.5x pay (which is typical unless it's a holiday) they owe you 49 hours for the period where you worked OT.

Also, you need make sure you understand what the work week is. Just because you worked 46 hours during a Monday through Friday does not necessarily mean that was during one pay period. I worked in a restaurant where the pay periods were Thursday to Wednesday.

16. ### Squilly thread starter macrumors 68020

Joined:
Nov 17, 2012
Location:
PA
#16
They don't like giving out money. Talked to them today, they want the pay stub and we'll discuss it tomorrow. There's nothing more to the story. Pay stub shows 75 hours, worked 170. Also saw they didn't include the 31st-14tb for some reason.

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HR deliberately told me hours would be combined over the course of the five weeks.
Maybe so... but seemed fine when HR originally explained it to me.
Sorry, 8 hours overtime.
Stub shows 75 hours, actual number should be around 170.
August 31st-September 28th. Week of 29th and 5th is the next pay cycle.

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Saw that coming. They did, actually.

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Mistake on first post. 8 hours overtime, OT is 1.5x pay. Work week starts Sunday, ends Saturday.

17. ### sviato macrumors 68020

Joined:
Oct 27, 2010
Location:
HR 9038 A
#17
So how'd that work out? An update would be great.

Good luck with the payroll also.

18. ### Jimbo47 macrumors 6502a

Joined:
Jun 21, 2010
#18
The pay periods might not be what you think. I clock in on a computer (I'm a supervisor at a restaurant). We get paid every other Tuesday, however our pay periods begin every other Monday opposite the weeks we get paid. For instance day 1 (Monday) payroll starts. Day 13 (Sunday) it ends. On day 17 (Thursday) the paychecks come in and are in the safe. Finally day 22 (Tuesday) the checks are distributed. So there is a 9 day period from when payroll ends, to when we actually get paid. BTW our computers print out our clocked in time and clocked out time and totals it up when we clock out. I keep all those slips and compare them with my next check.

19. ### wepiii macrumors 6502a

Joined:
Sep 22, 2012
#19
The fact that it took them 5 weeks to get you into the payroll system is a little scary in my opinion. It literally takes me 3 minutes to add someone online via ADP. I assume Sears would use an outside company, although maybe not.

If I were you, I would fill out a calendar with the hours worked each day. Don't give the totals or overtime or bonus or anything else, and just politely tell your HR person that there was a mistake on your paycheck. Give them a copy if your pay stub and the calendar you filled out with your shift times. If it was me in your shoes, I wouldn't continue to work somewhere that I couldn't trust to pay me what I earned.

I may ask a lot of my employees, but I also make sure that they are paid correctly and on time. That isn't too much to ask out of an employer. If they make you feel like you are being a pain by bringing it up, I would start looking for other work. Just my opinion, and maybe there is more to the story, but that doesn't sound right to me.

20. ### Renzatic Suspended

Joined:
Aug 3, 2011
Location:
Gramps, what the hell am I paying you for?
#20
Why it took 5 weeks to get him his first paycheck is beyond me. Even for a corporate environment, that does seem a little unusually slow. The only reason why I think this would happen would be that...

He came onboard right in the middle of a two week pay period. They decided to defer his hours worked then to the upcoming check.

But they delay the first check for new employees by a single pay period. Reasons? They'll probably tell you it's because it takes a bit to work you into the system. They're deferring you even farther by one paycheck.

Which means you'd think you'd get your entire sum at the end of your second two week pay period there, but they've decided, for reasons unknown, to only account for your first three weeks there on this first check.

Which means you'll probably get your remaining 95 hours (and possibly more if they want to get you caught up) bundled into your next paycheck.

If not, it sounds like you're being set up so you're always one pay period your current schedule. Though this is rare, I have heard of some companies doing this to their employees.

To me, it sounds more like a left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing, which is common for a big chain of stores that has to account for potentially thousands of employees. You were probably told you'd get all your hours worked up to a point on one paycheck, but their payroll system probably had other things for you in mind. I don't think anything sinister is going on, but someone goofed up somewhere.

Talking to HR is about the best thing you can do here.

21. ### Gutwrench Contributor

Joined:
Jan 2, 2011
#21
Since this question would be considered off-topic I'll just make it rhetorical: how in the heck does Sears at the Mall of America remain open?

The store is always close to empty and the majority of people I do notice there seem to be using it merely as a through way to the mall from the NE parking ramp. As an anchor I can't see how they can afford to stay open.

22. ### mobilehaathi macrumors G3

Joined:
Aug 19, 2008
Location:
The Anthropocene
#22
Is it that you despise clarity or just can't be bothered?

23. ### Squilly thread starter macrumors 68020

Joined:
Nov 17, 2012
Location:
PA
#23
Only reason I wasn't paid for the first two weeks was because it wasn't using the automated system. Had to manually be put in. Slipped through the cracks.

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Sounds about right. Will talk to them tonight. If they notice discrepancies, they'll pay me the 90ish hours in cash. Only problem there is it doesn't reflect the amount of taxes I should be getting taken out. They'd take out 35% when it should really be 25% based on the paycheck I just got.

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It is slow unless they push out a good ad. They're in talks of going under (my store at least) in February.

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Thought I clarified quite well...

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One other thing: I got a guaranteed job at Chipotle today and I'm extremely tempted to put in my two week. Chipotle pays \$9/hr, Sears pays \$6/hr + commissions. Chipotle is willing to make me full time so I get full time benefits and free food and a paid lunch. Sears does none of that. What's stopping me? Holiday season is coming up, as it'll get busier. Dunno what to do.

24. ### malman89 macrumors 68000

Joined:
May 29, 2011
Location:
Michigan
#24
I guess it's too soon to make an educated guess on income potential between Sears and Chipotle.

I would think maybe best case scenario would be Chipotle with Sears part time, if allowed. Evenings/off days and weekends at Sears sound like a good opportunity for commissions.

25. ### Squilly thread starter macrumors 68020

Joined:
Nov 17, 2012
Location:
PA
#25
Weekends are also the busier times at Chipotle and Sears.