What canI do if my employer does not pay me on payday?

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What canI do if my employer does not pay me on payday?

I got my check 2 days late. My employer told me that I must not deposit it or cash it. However, I took the check to the bank it was drawn on to cash it only to find out that there was not enough funds in the account. What are my rights?

Asked on February 16, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You have a right to be paid for the work you do. If you are not paid at all, you may sue to recover the money from your employer. If you are paid, just slightly late, as a practical matter, there is little you can do--unless the late payment somehow causes you significant damage or cost (for example, it causes you to miss a rent payment, which leads to eviction), you can't effectively sue. That is because the legal system only provides compensation for actual losses or costs, so without losses, there is nothing for which to sue. You could try contacting the state department of labor to complain, but it is unlikely that they would devote much energy or attention to a case where you are "only" being paid slightly late--that is not to downplay the unfairness or frustration of late payment, but the labor department has to deal with cases of multiple employees not being paid at all, or being far less than they are legally entitled to. They have some very large and urgent cases, which would likely eclipse a late payment case in terms of prioritizing their resources.


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