What are my rights if my company gave me an advance upon hire 8 months ago and now to withhold my pay?

UPDATED: Nov 21, 2014

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What are my rights if my company gave me an advance upon hire 8 months ago and now to withhold my pay?

I’ve been paying that off throughout the year with my sales commissions. Now they tell me that since they forgot (and I didn’t consider) to take deductions from my checks throughout the year, I must sacrifice the remainder of my yearly pay to cover it. Is that the way it must be? It sure as heck isn’t fair.

Asked on November 21, 2014 under Employment Labor Law, Massachusetts


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

There is no simple answer to your question: it depends upon what was the agreement between you and the company in regards to timing of repayment, how repaid, etc. The agreement about repayment will govern. If there was no specific agreement covering this situation, then you'd look to what was most likely "contemplated" by both you and them at the time, as shown by any discussions, emails, corresondence, etc. The short answer is, if you think they are doing something which you did not agree to, you could sue them to try to stop this or recover the money they took; but doing so could be expensive and would take time (and damage your relationship with your employer), so it may afford you an effective recourse.

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