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Starting from version 2023-02-01, error messages will have consistent JSON structures. The shape may differ between the error types. Below are the 3 error types with examples of their shape.

Basic Error Shape

All errors start with the basic error shape and can be expanded upon.

When a request results in an error, the response JSON contains an array of errors with the following fields
error_key: specifies where the error occurs. Typically this key identifies the attribute/parameter related to the error. In the example below, the error is a request error.
category: specifies the type of error. The category provides error groupings and can be used to build custom error handling in your integration. For a complete list of all error categories please review the error categories guide.
message : provides details about the error. Except for a few types of errors, the message can be surfaced directly to the end user.
metadata: contains relevant data to identify the resource in question when applicable. In the majority of cases, entity_uuid and entity_type will be provided, but the data may change based on the domain of the endpoint.

{
  "errors": [
    {
      "error_key": "base",
      "category": "payroll_blocker",
      "message": "Company or employee address could not be verified. Please ensure all addresses are valid.",
      "metadata": {
        "key": "geocode_error"
      }
    }
  ]
}

Resource Error Shape

When working with a specific resource (employee, company, payroll, etc), multiple errors can be returned.

{
  "errors": [
    {
      "error_key": "first_name",
      "category": "invalid_attribute_value",
      "message": "First name is required"
    },
    {
      "error_key": "date_of_birth",
      "category": "invalid_attribute_value",
      "message": "Date of birth is not a valid date"
    }
  ]
}

Some endpoints perform bulk operations on multiple resources. When there are multiple errors on multiple resources, the error object in the response will include a metadata hash. This metadata can be used to help identify the entities associated with the errors.

{
  "errors": [
    {
      "error_key": "base",
      "category": "invalid_attribute_value",
      "message": "Balance must be less than or equal to max balance (150.0)",
      "metadata": {
        "entity_uuid": "ac597ee9-93c5-4153-9b10-f7d230eee506",
        "entity_type": "Employee"
      }
    },
    {
      "error_key": "base",
      "category": "invalid_attribute_value",
      "message": "Balance must be less than or equal to max balance (150.0)",
      "metadata": {
        "entity_uuid": "34af0140-9b55-41a3-8ee0-0f27ad0c51d9",
        "entity_type": "Employee"
      }
    }
  ]
}

Nested Error Shape

When the error attribute is nested inside a parent attribute, the errors are nested inside a wrapping error with โ€œnested_errorโ€ category. Use the category (nested_error) to programmatically identify and parse nested errors.

{
  "errors": [
    {
      "error_key": "fields",
      "category": "nested_errors",
      "errors": [
        {
          "error_key": "signature",
          "category": "invalid_attribute_value",
          "message": "Field is required."
        },
        {
          "error_key": "phone",
          "category": "invalid_attribute_value",
          "message": "Field is required."
        }
      ]
    }
  ]
}