Can my bankrupt employer withhold my wages for more than 72 hours after laying me off?

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Can my bankrupt employer withhold my wages for more than 72 hours after laying me off?

I was just laid off, with five days notice, from a company that has filed Chapter
11. We are still waiting not only for our final wages, but for the rest of the
wages owed to us from the last pay period, ending 4/20. My last day was Saturday
4/22, and after failing to pay us as promised on our last day, the payroll
department swore we’d receive everything we owed early this week. Today, I
learned from talking to my former manager that we’ll receive payment ‘no later
than’ May 5th, our usual payday. Even then, they claim the payment may be an
‘estimate’ of what we’re owed. Can they legally withhold the wages we’re owed for
so long, especially since we were laid off with less than a week’s notice?

Asked on April 25, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

They cannot legally withhold or delay payment UNLESS they have already bankruptcy, as you indicate that they have. Once they file, all payments for amounts due up to the day of filing are put on hold and have to work their way through the bankruptcy process and be authorized by the bankruptcy court before they are made. Contact the bankruptcy court for more information as to the status, timing, etc. of this matter and how you submit a claim for wages.


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