If I haven’t been paid by my employer, what can I do?

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If I haven’t been paid by my employer, what can I do?

Approximately, 4 weeks ago, they only gave me half of my check. And, 2 weeks ago, they didn’t pay me at all. I’ve let them know I’m missing pay and provided evidence that I should have been paid and I’ve receive nothing from them yet. I filed a claim with labor board but am I entitled to any compensation for late payment?

Asked on August 5, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You can sue the employer for unpaid wages. In terms of additional compensation, you are only entitled to payment for losses or costs caused by the late payment. For example, say that you had checks bounce due to this and had to pay fees for the bad checks, you could recover those amounts. If you had to take out a short term loan to cover expenses, you could recover any interest and loan origination pay. If you missed rent or lease or credit card payments and incurred late charges, you could recover those, etc.

Of course, as a pratical matter, if the employer is insolvent (doesn't have enough money to pay its debts), you may only recover a portion of what is owed you, or even possibly nothing at all: a judgment in your favor cannot make money appear where there is none. If the employer is an LLC or corporation, you could only sue the employer iteself, but if it is a sole proprietorship or general partnership, you could sue the owner(s) directly and try to recover from their personal funds and assets.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You can sue the employer for unpaid wages. In terms of additional compensation, you are only entitled to payment for losses or costs caused by the late payment. For example, say that you had checks bounce due to this and had to pay fees for the bad checks, you could recover those amounts. If you had to take out a short term loan to cover expenses, you could recover any interest and loan origination pay. If you missed rent or lease or credit card payments and incurred late charges, you could recover those, etc.

Of course, as a pratical matter, if the employer is insolvent (doesn't have enough money to pay its debts), you may only recover a portion of what is owed you, or even possibly nothing at all: a judgment in your favor cannot make money appear where there is none. If the employer is an LLC or corporation, you could only sue the employer iteself, but if it is a sole proprietorship or general partnership, you could sue the owner(s) directly and try to recover from their personal funds and assets.


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