Can company be sued for late distribution of an employee’s check?

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Can company be sued for late distribution of an employee’s check?

For a company that habitually distributes late checks to employer, can the company be sued?

Asked on November 11, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

As a legal matter, probably yes--by distributing the paychecks late, the company is likely violating state law on the subject (while you do not indicate which state you are from, most states have laws detailing how frequently paychecks must be distribute); it is also likely violating the agreement, even if only an implicit one, with the employees, in that they performed their work in expectation of being paid by a certain date. This could provide the grounds for a lawsuit.

As a practical matter, it is highly unlikely it is worthwhile doing this. In U.S. law, people may generally only sue for their actual injuries, out of pocket losses, etc. If being paid late--but still ultimately being paid--does not cause somehow significant monetary loss or similar injury to the employees, the lawsuit would cost far more than they could recover.


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