What is the maximum number of hours that an hourly employee can work without getting paid?

I am an hourly employee who works for a public system. I have been working there for six weeks and still have not been paid. They keep pushing back my paycheck, and it’s getting really hard to pay bills and such. I have brought this issue to the attention of my supervisor, and he passed it on up the chain of command. Obviously, I don’t think I’m going to hear anything back – if the issue was even passed up. I know that there has to be some limit to the amount of work that a person should endure without getting paid for that time. Is there a law that states this?

Asked on July 2, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

In Ohio, it appears that the longest an employer can go without paying an employee is between 15 days and a month, depending on the exact circumstances (e.g. pay for work done in the first half of month A must be paid by the 1st of following month B). If you have not been paid for 6 weeks, that seems to be a legal violation; you could contact your state Department of Labor and/or speak with an employment law attorney about your situation.

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