Faith and Paystubs

In the Quran, chapter 83, verses 1-6: God, Almighty, warns those who take full measure (wage) but give less to others:

{Woe to those that deal in fraud. Those who, when they have to receive by measure from men, exact full measure. But when they have to give by measure or weight to men, give less than due. Do they not think that they will be called to account? On a Mighty Day. A Day when (all) mankind will stand before the Lord of the Worlds.}

Across faith traditions, the message is clear: pay workers their due wages. Yet, wage theft continues to be one of the most prevalent crimes against workers, and the lack of regulations on the issuance of paystubs only exacerbates the problem. 

It is a sad reality that nearly 20 million workers in the United States do not receive paystubs that indicate the way their pay is calculated. 

When workers remain ignorant of employer deductions from their wages, they become vulnerable to extravagant wage theft. This especially impacts low-wage workers whose meager income is further reduced due to miscalculation of hours and illegal wage rates. They are deprived of their legally earned income.

It is essential that the U.S. Department of Labor issue a regulation that requires employers to issue paystubs to all their workers.

Paystubs For All is a small, easy tool that can help workers understand how their pay is calculated, and make it easier for them to ensure that they are being paid properly. Requiring employers to issue paystubs is an easy way for the USDOL to ensure fair and accurate wages and prevent labor exploitation.

Employers with a history of stealing workers' wages will be more reluctant to engage in wage theft if they are required to document their pay calculations. Although a Paystubs for All regulation is not expected to solve the country's wage theft problem, it will definitely have a deterrent effect. 

The USDOL has much to gain from issuing this regulation. Paystubs For All will cost the government almost nothing and safeguard the employees right to know pay calculations. Ethical and responsible businesses are already in the practice of providing paystubs to workers.

The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) reported to have said,

"Your brothers (workers) are your responsibility. Allah has made them under your hands. So whosoever has a brother under his hand, let him give him food as he eats and dress as he dresses. Do not give them work that will overburden them and if you give them such task then provide them assistance." (the book of Al-Bukhari)

For a just economic system, it is imperative that workers have access to their wage information. Paystubs are at the core of fair and legal pay.


Naeem Baig is the President of Islamic Circle of North America. He also serves on the board of Interfaith Worker Justice.

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