What is my recourse if my previous employer didn’t pay my salary for 4 months?

UPDATED: Aug 11, 2011

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What is my recourse if my previous employer didn’t pay my salary for 4 months?

I am an IT consultant. I quit my previous employer. It ran my payroll for the months of Feb – May, but I only received the pay stubs for those months not my salary. I’ve sent them many e-mails asking for it; they replied saying they will deposit them for me but nothing. I want to know what action I can take now against my previous employer? I think I can’t go to small claims court because I am supposed to get nearly $49K.

Asked on August 11, 2011 Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You best recourse is to sue them--immediately. For that amount of money, you not only need to go to regular district  or county court, but you should get a lawyer to represent your interests. The lawyer can not only file a lawsuit for the money, but also can move for a court order (injunctive relief) ordering the employer to deposit the money it owes you with the court, or take some other action which will ensure that the money will be for you if and when you win. The hazard in cases like this is either the company is running out of cash--payroll is being used to fund operations and pay bills--or the money is being diverted and embezzled. In either event, the longer you wait, the greater the chance all the money will be gone. So don't delay--speak with a lawyer today or tomorrow.

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