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My Employer Missed Payroll – What Can I Do?

missed payrollChances are if you work for a large employer you won’t need to worry about getting paid your wages. Even when large companies struggle financially, there are tools in place to prevent employees from not being paid for their work.

There’s no guarantee you won’t be laid off in times of financial strife. However, chances are good you’ll be compensated for all of the work you performed.

Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case for smaller companies.

There’s always a risk when working with small businesses. Many people prefer the personal nature and flexibility that comes with small employers, but these benefits come with the risk that small businesses often fail within their first five years. Even if they make it past that milestone, there’s always a risk.

The important thing for you to know is that if your employer is legally obligated to compensate employees.

Additionally, if your employer is late with your pay check, it might be a sign that worse problems are on the way.

The Law Protects Employees – You Must Be Paid for the Work You Do

Your employer violates federal and/or state labor laws if they miss payroll. All employers must pay at least the minimum wage required under state and local laws and pay you within a certain time frame.

Missing payroll is a very serious issue. It not only involves not compensating employees, but it also has tax implications. A lot is working in your favor if you work for an employer that misses payroll. It’s understandable why you’d initially be upset, but long term, you’re likely to receive the payment you deserve.

What Should I Do If My Employer Misses Payroll?

The first thing you should do if you don’t get paid as expected, you should notify your employer in writing. In rare cases, payroll issues are due to honest mistakes or technological issues and your employer will be able to resolve the issue immediately.

Note in your communication with your employer that you will file a claim if you do not receive payment within a week.

If the problem is not resolved to your satisfaction, you have options.  Contact an attorney or the wage division of the United States Department of Labor or your state labor department. To learn more about what you can do about unpaid wages in New York, check out this information.

Should there be a significant amount of missed wages, you might need to take your employer to court. To do so, you’ll need to hire an employment lawyer to help you with your case. Your employer will be obligated to pay your legal fees.

What to Consider If You Don’t Get Paid

If you suspect there are financial problems on the horizon and your employer missing payroll was not a one-time mistake, it might be time to consider your long-term options. Your employer is legally obligated to compensate you for the work you’ve done.

However, this does nothing to protect you if your employer chooses to furlough or lay off workers, cut wages, or go out of business. Even if you’re paid what you’re owed, you’ll need work going forward.

Not to mention if your employer is missing payroll, it likely means there are financial issues behind-the-scenes. You just don’t know about them yet.

Payroll is one of the top priorities for a business. Most small business owners will do everything they can to meet payroll obligations. For some, this includes digging into personal savings, liquidating assets, or foregoing their salary. If your employer has reached the point where they cannot meet payment obligations, it’s likely a sign of severe financial problems.

If you have questions about your wages or you need someone to help you file a claim regarding unpaid wages, we can help. For more information or to discuss issues with your pay, contact Borrelli & Associates, P.L.L.C. to schedule a free consultation.


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