Can my employer pay me in cash, off the books?

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As tempting as it may be to receive your pay in cash under the table, your employer is not allowed to pay you "off the books," according to the Fair Labor Standards Act.
 
  • Common in industries that use day workers or when workers are only needed for a temporary job, some employers try to pay their employees cash in order to avoid payroll tax.

Not only is this illegal, it can also cause major problems for both the employer and the employee. Heavy fines are inflicted on employers who try and get out of paying payroll taxes, including state, federal taxes, Social Security and Medicare taxes.
 
If the employee is not receiving a breakdown of what is being withheld from his or her paycheck, chances are the employer will not issue a W-2, so the employee has no way of knowing his or her total income or withholdings - important information to know when filing taxes.
 
The Fair Labor Standards Act also requires employers to keep record of the number of hours that each employee worked, how much he or she was paid, and the form of payment used in compensation. Paying cash "off the books" would clearly prevent the employer from being able to do this.

Failure to record could also mean unpaid overtime pay for the employee, which could add up to hundreds or thousands of dollars over a period of time.

If you are being paid under the table and are worried about the consequences, contact the Houston overtime attorneys at Kennedy Hodges for a free copy of their book, The Ten Biggest Mistakes That Can Hurt Your Wage and Overtime Claim, by calling 888.449.2068. Or fill out their online form to schedule your free case evaluation today.
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