Payroll voodoo at the new job

Warning: constipation-inducing payroll situation ahead.

I started work at this new job on 7/10 during the company’s pay period that spanned 7/2-7/15. The very first timesheet I submitted says:

Period From 7/2/2006 to 7/15/2006
Hours worked: 40

So far, so good. But here’s the screwy thing. The first pay stub I received says:

Pay Period: 7/16-7/29
Pay Date: 7/28

The direct deposit happened on 7/27.
I submitted the timesheet on 7/17 (first business day after the end of the true pay period).

I can handle them taking almost two weeks to pay me but I don’t understand why the pay stub claims that this check is paying me for pay period 7/16-7/29. That is a date range that includes two days (28th & 29th) that were still in the future at the time I received the money!

I called the nice lady in payroll trying to explain to her why I thought the pay stub should say “pay period 7/2-7/15” but she said calmly “oh no it’s correct because our pay periods are always two weeks ahead of our timesheets”.

Well, yeah I gathered that much from looking at the pay stub. My question is WHY are the pay periods two weeks ahead of the timesheets?

What is so difficult about making the pay stub say exactly what days I’m being paid for? I am thinking that I need to dump all my pay stub data into a spread sheet for tracking because I know this is going to confuse me if I ever need to look at my pay stubs in the future.

Is this standard payroll procedure? What’s the purpose for having an apparent pay period that is different from the true pay period? Any payroll gurus want to take a stab at this?

My guess is that it gives them two weeks of cash “float” on your payroll.

At least you got paid. I started a job once that paid every 2 weeks, and they were one pay period behind… I went a month before I got a paycheck. That is a long time when you are broke to begin with. I had to borrow money for gas!

Yeah, I’ve dealt with that as well. It was in a bi-monthly paycheck kinda company. They will probably ding a whole paycheck (not a whole as in all your money, but whole as in ~80 hours) by deducting the hours for any workdays during 7/2 - 7/9.

It should work out. Watch it well though.

Hey, our payroll is a MONTH BEHIND our timesheets. So yeah, that week where I missed a few days? By the time that paycheck comes up, I’ve forgotten about it and have to scrape because my check was smaller.
shakes fist at university payroll

As an HR person who has done payroll, here’s my take on it. The phrase “pay period” should refer to the dates when the work took place. Perhaps your employer has this set wrong in a computer somewhere and just didn’t bother to fix it. But if there is ever a messy payroll situation or an audit, they will regret letting it slide. It is really helpful when resolving any type of issue for the pay period to reflect the dates worked.

In defense of not fixing it, if they do fix it people’s pay stubs would have a gap in their sequence. If I’m understanding your explanation correctly, probably the best thing for them to do would be to adjust the computer at year-end and send out a memo to document why there is a change.

In terms of when they pay you for a pay period, requirements for that vary with state law. And employers can pay more promptly (just not more slowly) than states require, so practice can vary within a state.

Receiving pay by direct deposit a day or 2 before the pay period ends is not unusual. I’m not sure exactly why, but sometimes the electronic feeds do work that way. However, again if I understand correctly, that’s not really what happened to you. You received payment for pay period 1 a few days before the end of pay period 2.

Someone probably made an error and they haven’t gone back and fixed it. In our system, it’s an easy fix, so we wouldn’t have any excuse for not fixing it. Perhaps their system is harder.

It’s foolish if they don’t fix it, though. It would mess with things like unemployment or WC.

Or you get paid on a monthly basis and payday would fall a few days after Christmas…yeah, some people raised a fuss about that so we managed to get our paychecks a few days before Christmas. Good thing we were all just in high school at the time! :wink:

We do our timesheets electronically here, and as a summer student I’ll be done soon, so I have to remember to log on and do my last timesheet a week after I’m gone because we only have a window of a few days to do it.