How long can an employer hold an employee’s paycheck?

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How long can an employer hold an employee’s paycheck?

Boss closed doors to company and has yet to pay employees.

Asked on December 2, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The law does not let the employer hold the check at all--it should have been paid by the next scheduled payday. The company would not be responsible for events beyond its control--e.g. the third-party payroll processor (if any) is delayed for some reason; a hurricane shuts the city down for a few days; etc.--but otherwise has to pay on time.

If the company does not pay when it should, you and your fellow employees may sue the company. Of course, if the company is shut down and has no assets or income, you may be unable to actually get the money, even if you sue and win. If the company was a limited liability company (LLC) or corporation, you could only sue the company itself, not any owner(s); but if the company was partnership or sole proprietorship, you may be able to sue the owner personally.


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