“My employer only pays me sporadically. He says it’s because the company isn’t doing well and he doesn’t have the money to pay regularly. What can I do?”
State and federal laws provide employees with numerous payroll protections. As a general rule, most employers are required to pay employees on a weekly or bi-weekly pay period (of the New England states, Rhode Island, Maine, and Vermont permit employees to be paid on a semi-monthly pay period). Employers are also required to provide the employee with a written statement of all deductions, which often includes deductions for taxes, insurance premiums, and employee requested contributions to charities. Generally, an employer may only make deductions from wages when empowered or required by state or federal law, such as for taxes or a court order, or for a purpose that benefits the employee provided the employee authorized such a deduction in writing.
Employees who are not paid when required or who are paid improperly may be entitled to damages, including all wages owed, liquidated damages in the form of double or triple the amount of wages owed, and attorney fees and costs.
Payment of Wages After Termination
Certain states also require employers to pay an employee all wages owed within a certain amount of time after the employment relationship ends. In New Hampshire and Vermont, if an employee quits or resigns, the employer must pay all wages due by the next regular pay period, and sooner if sufficient notice was provided. If an employee is involuntarily terminated, the employer must pay all wages owed within 72 hours of the termination. In Connecticut, if an employee is discharged from employment the employer must pay all wages owed by the end of the next business day. In Massachusetts, the employer must pay all wages owed by the end of the day the employee is discharged. Other states have similar requirements designed to ensure that departing employees are paid all wages owed, including commissions and other compensation distinct from the base wage. In many states, accrued but unused vacation days are considered wages and accordingly must be paid out to departing employees.
Employees who have not been paid wages owed following the termination of their employment relationship may be entitled to damages, sometimes equating to double (or in certain states triple) the amount of wages owed, and attorney fees.
We Offer Free Initial Consultations
If you believe your employer is violating payroll laws do not hesitate to contact Wyatt & Associates for your free consultation. Our experienced and compassionate attorneys will sit down with you and take the time to listen to your story. In the event that we can help vindicate your rights, we will zealously advocate on your behalf at every step of the process—whether that is filing a complaint with the department of labor or litigating in a state or federal court.