Do I have a case against my employer for withholding back pay for so long that it caused a repossession and almost an eviction?

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Do I have a case against my employer for withholding back pay for so long that it caused a repossession and almost an eviction?

I was working for a company for 4 1/2 years before I finally had to quit. I took a new position in January of this year and since then my life has seriously deteriorated. I noticed at the end of April that my pay was incorrect and I wasn’t receiving what I should have been. Once I notified my managers both of them assured me it was a priority, although it clearly wasn’t. I actually did not get the backpay until after I no longer worked there, and by then it was too late. I have had horrible residual affects since this – $500 worth of over drafts and  repossession of my car. Do I have a shot?

Asked on July 12, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You may have a cause of action against your former employer. They had a duty to pay your full salary, on time. If they violated that duty either deliberately or negligently (in other words, unreasonably carelessly), they they would be liable for the damages or consequences flowing out of their failure, which could potentially include bounced check fees, interest from not being able to make payments on time, foreclosure or repossession, etc. Given the amount of money you seem to indicate is at stake, it probably would make sense for you to try to bring this matter in small claims court, representing yourself, rather than hiring an attorney; even though an attorney would increase the chance of you winning, the cost may be prohibitive given what you are trying to recover. Good luck.


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