What legal action can I take if my employer consistently pays late?

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What legal action can I take if my employer consistently pays late?

My employer is supposed to pay us once weekly but consistently paychecks are given out late with the vague reason of “funding issues” justified by “all non-profits go through this.” As a full-time student and a person that participates in many extracurricular activities, this is becoming a burden as there are times that even paying for transportation is not certainly possible. The most paychecks we’ve been owed at any given time was three which were payed to us a month later, after the transition from after-school to summer camp. This has been going for years even before I was hired 2 years ago.

Asked on May 20, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I believe that in NY, employees should be paid at least twice a month under state law; they may also be required to pay more frequently, if that is the agreement between the employer and employee.

If the employer pays late under state law, you could contact the state labor department; they may be able to take action on your behalf. You could also contact an employment attorney, which is also what you would do to take action on any failure to pay per an agreement as to the timing of paychecks--the problem with this is that if have ultimately been paid everything you are supposed to be paid, there really isn't much to sue for; not enough to justify the cost of the suit.

You may wish to consider a different job; if this employer has cash flow, etc. issues, you may get to a point where they don't pay you at all for months or weeks of work. Even though you'll be legally entitled to that pay, if they don't have money, you may never see it.


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