Who is liable for non-payment of wages?

I work for a guy who contracts for a larger company. Payday was supposed to be last week but the co still hasn’t paid for the work we did. So do I go after my employer who is also waiting or the company he contracts for seeing how its their mess up for not paying when due?

Asked on September 13, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Indiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

The company your employer contracts with has NO obligation to you in regards to your wages, and is not liable if your employer doesn't pay you, any more than if you were late paying an invoice to your plumber, a plumbing assistance could sue you for late or unpaid wages. Only your employer is liable to you for unpaid wages, and legally, his failure to be paid does not absolve him of the obligation to pay his workers. So legally, you could sue him for not paying you. Practically, of course, if he truly has no money to pay you with, suing may not get you anything: a judgment or court order in your favor does not make money appear where is none. So if he could pay, but would rather not until he is paid, suing can get you money; but if he is insolvent and doesnt' have the funds to pay, suing may not help.


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