I know that my employer can stop my pay at any time but shouldn’tit tell me ahead of the time that I won’t get paid and have to use some of my vacation if I work?

In my case, I worked through last month, then at the end of the month, my manager said I used vacation days. I had business meetings daily and I have records. He knew that I worked as I gave him business plan results. I am a full-time at will employee.

Asked on October 14, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Oregon


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

An employer may certainly terminate an at-will employee--"stop the pay," as you put--at any time, but only on a forward-looking basis. The employer may not retroactively tell you that you were not employed or not working when you were working. If you worked in the reasonable, good faith belief you were supposed to be doing the work (i.e. you weren't carelessly or intentionally ignoring some notice to not work), you are entitled to your salary for that the time you worked and do not need to sue vacation days for it. If you  are not paid, you have the option of suing your employer for the money...though obviously should weigh the amount owed and whether it is worth the time, cost, and possible consequences (termination, if not already terminated; not being given an employment reference; etc.) of doing so.

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