Can a business refuse to pay salary due to a close down for remodeling and also refuse to let you claim unemployment?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can a business refuse to pay salary due to a close down for remodeling and also refuse to let you claim unemployment?

My restaurant that I work at is closing for almost a month for renovations. The owner said that the people in salary will be paid only 2 out of the 3 weeks and that they could not claim

unemployment for the 1 week because it was too much paperwork. Meanwhile, the hourly people can claim unemployment for all 3 weeks. Is this legal?

Asked on April 10, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

The restaurant has no say over whether you or any employees can claim unemployment--anyone may file for it, and whether you get it or not depends on whether you meet your state's eligibility rules under the circumstances.
It is legal to not pay your salary for any days or weeks the business is closed. Employees are paid for working; there is no law requiring them to be paid when they cannot or do not work.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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