Is it legal if my employer decided randomly it is going to withhold 2 weeks of my pay because it wanted a

buffer in the bank for the business?

I’ve worker there for 10 years.

Asked on October 6, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

It is not even remotely legal. Employees must be paid for all work done; and the employer's financial issues do not affect that legal obligation, under both the labor laws and contract law (i.e. there was a contract, even if only an unwritten or oral one, between you and the employer, under which you agreed to work and they agreed to pay you; if you did your part and worked, they must do their part and pay) to pay its employees. If they need a "buffer" in the bank, let the owner(s) put their own personal money in; they can't withhold it from employees. You could look to file a complaint with your state's department of labor or sue the employer (e.g. in small claims court) for the money. If you are going to do this, do it NOW: this may be a sign of some serious financial or legal problem in the business, and the longer you wait, the less likely you are to actually get the money (e.g. even though they legally owe you the money, if they file bankruptcy, become insolvent, go out of business, etc., you may not be paid).

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