Can an employer withold backpay?

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Can an employer withold backpay?

My husband works for a company that layed him off but still worked him. They gave him $98 a week as not to mess up his unemployment benefits. If he worked over the alotted time they “banked” his hours. We asked for only $300 (he has at least $2000) but they will not give it to him unless its a rain day or he takes personal time off. However they will not call a rain day (it’s poured all week and it’s icky out) and won’t let him have time off. Can they do this?

Asked on May 4, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Illinois

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

What can be done with respect to your husband's owed wages depends upon what agreement he has with his employer that laid him off as to when he is to be paid. If there is no agreement then custom and practice is that he would be paid in accordance with his employer's pay period.

If it is every two weeks, then he gets paid every two weeks. From what you have written, your husband and his employer may be violating the requirements for unemployment benefits regarding the "banked hours".

I suggest that you husband simply ask for the money due him if he wants it subject to the knowledge that such "banked hours" may be a violation of laws regarding unemployment benefits.


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