Is it legal to not get paid hours worked?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Is it legal to not get paid hours worked?

I was employed by a school district. I was told over 2 1/2 months ago that we would lose our jobs 2 months later because the school board voted to sub-contract our jobs out. I continued to work for the school district until the new company took over but was surprised when I didn’t receive my normal check amount. I was told that because I didn’t work the entire fiscal year they weren’t obligated to pay me for the entire month I was due. I am confused because I didn’t quit basically they laid me off. Am I entitled to the money for the hours I worked?

Asked on April 27, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Mississippi


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you must be paid for all work you actually did--not for future hours, of course (such as for days or hours in the month after you were laid for), but if you did work then you must be paid for it, regardless of how much or little you worked or would work during the year as a whole. If not paid for all hours worked, try contacting the state department of labor to file a wage and hour complaint--they may be able to help you get the money. Or you could sue (e.g. in small claims court) for the money, too.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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