One of the perks of having an employer is that you get a steady paycheck. You show up and do the job every day. In exchange, you get a paycheck every week, every other week, or every month. But sometimes things go awry and your employer can’t pay you. What are your rights when your salary is delayed?
The State You Work In Makes a Difference
We will go over some general guidelines about what your rights are when your salary is delayed. However, before we do, it’s important to understand that these rights do vary a little bit from state to state. Each state has its own payday laws that govern your rights.
These laws outline how often you must be paid as well as how your employer is to notify you about your payment schedule. Moreover, each state may have different exceptions for certain jobs or depending on the size of the business. And each state has its own rules about what to do if your employer fails to meet the payday laws of the state. Furthermore, there are different rules about overtime pay and final paychecks than there are for regular paychecks.
So, although there are general rules, you’ll want to check specifically in your own state about your rights when your salary is delayed.
General Rights When Salary Is Delayed
You have the right to receive payment in a timely manner. You can contact your state’s labor agency to find out exactly what the laws are in your area. Additionally, you might want to consult the documents you received upon hiring as they may outline your rights.
You have the right to file a complaint and to sue your employer for the money that you’re owed. Having these rights when your salary is delayed means that your employer is not allowed to retaliate against you for doing this. Therefore, your employer can’t fire you if you sue them for delayed back pay.
You have the right to continue to receive your salary while negotiating the delayed payment. For example, let’s say that your April paycheck never arrived. You talked about it with your boss in May and it hasn’t been resolved. It’s almost June and you’re going to file a lawsuit to get that money. However, you’ve been working all of this time. You have the right to receive May’s payment (and all future work payment) on time even if this issue has not yet been resolved.
What To Do If Your Salary Is Delayed
Here are some of the steps that you can take to get your payment if your salary is delayed:
- Try to discuss the issue directly with your employer. If you do not receive a timely response, send a written letter clearly outlining what you’re owed and that you expect payment immediately.
- Contact your state’s labor agency. Ask to file a complaint about your delayed salary.
- Take your employer to court for the wages you are owed. You might do this by yourself in small claims court. However, you’re likely to get better results if you hire a labor law attorney. That said, the amount you must pay them may end up costing more than the salary you’re owed.
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Kathryn Vercillo is a professional writer with more than a decade of experience writing about healthy living and personal finance. She lives in San Francisco, where she has learned to maximize frugal living tips in order to thrive as a freelancer in one of the nation’s most expensive cities. When she’s not writing, she’s exploring the city on foot with her rescue dog. Learn more about her at www.kathrynvercillo.com. Kathryn also writes about saving money with coupons over at GroceryCouponGuide.com .