Can I take legal action or sue my employer for a late payroll check?

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Can I take legal action or sue my employer for a late payroll check?

I just recently quit my job because my employer was awful to me, and singled me out for mistakes everyone was making. I don’t think that I can take legal action for that, but I was supposed to get my payroll check on Monday. I went in to pick it up and they said that my check was not in with the others, and that the manager probably forgot to pay you. What can I do?

Asked on October 25, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

As a practical matter, unless the employer continues to not pay you, you probably can't do anything. If you were not paid on your regular payday and in accordance with state law on how often to pay, the landlord has technically violated the law and could be sued; but since all you can recover is the economic damage you've incurred, unless the late check caused you some other significant loss (e.g. by making you default on a mortgage), there's effectively nothing to sue for. If it is the case that the employer did simply miss a payment, you're probably best off reminding the employer and waiting the extra 2 or so weeks to see if you're paid. If at that point you're not paid, you have to start wondering whether they will pay you; that's when you start contemplating legal action, suing the amount due for the payroll.


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