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What Benefits are You Entitled to When You Leave Your Job?

Business Phone CallPeople leave jobs all the time and for a variety of reasons. It’s just a part of the modern-day business world. There are very few people anymore who remain with the same company over the long haul and employers expect turnover within their company.

If you’re in the workforce, chances are you’ll leave your current employer at some point.

What do you need to know when this day arrives?

How to Break the News You’re Moving On

Assuming you’re on good terms with your current employer, and even if things aren’t ideal, you’ll want to be professional when you give notice you’re leaving. Most people agree giving two weeks’ notice in advance of your last day is the most professional course of action. You should consider putting your notice in writing and speak to your direct supervisor face-to-face.

As stressful as the conversation about leaving can be, things can be especially uncomfortable if there are issues about outstanding benefits. Many people leave their jobs without using all of the sick leave or vacation pay to which they were entitled.

If you leave your current position owed anything – wages, benefits, or anything else that’s been arranged – you are legally entitled to receive it even though you’re leaving.

Employees are Entitled to Pay for the Hours They’ve Worked

If you’ve left a job and your former employer has tried to deny or short your last paycheck, you aren’t alone. Unfortunately, there are business owners and payroll departments that attempt to cheat employees of their rightful wages, hoping they won’t follow up because they are moving onto a new job. There are also employers who are resentful when employees leave and they behave in a spiteful manner.

This is illegal.

Regardless why you’ve left a job, you are entitled to be paid for the hours you’ve worked.

There is no law stating you must be paid immediately, but you do need to be paid the appropriate amount within a reasonable amount of time – usually within the normal pay period. You must also be paid for any overtime you are owed.

Keep in mind, there is a statute of limitations for filing a claim for wages you’re owed. Under federal law, most of the time this time frame is two years, but if the violations are considered “willful,” the statute of limitations is three years. Under New York law, the statute of limitations is six years.

You Might Also Be Entitled to Other Benefits

Many employers have a system in place that allows employees to accrue vacation or sick time. The more an employee works the more paid time off is accumulated. If this time is not used during the course of employment, you might be entitled to receive payment for this accrued time.

Keep in mind, there is a statute of limitations for filing a claim for wages you’re owed. Under federal law, most of the time this time frame is two years, but if the violations are considered “willful,” the statute of limitations is three years. Under New York law, the statute of limitations is six years.

What does this mean?

Some employers allow employees to use time that has not yet been earned. For instance, if you’ve earned four vacation days, but you’d like to take a full five day week off, your employer might allow you to take the full five days with pay, assuming in the coming weeks and months you’ll work the hours required to cover this time.

Think of it as having a negative balance of time and as you work, you bring the balance to positive.

However, if you leave your job before bringing that balance positive, your employer can charge you for that time.

Moving from one job to another is stressful enough without having to deal with mistakes or games from your former employer. In an ideal world, the transition will be smooth, but this is not always the case. If your former employer is giving you trouble after you’ve moved on, you might have the right to take legal action.

For more information or to schedule a consultation to discuss your situation, contact NY Employment Lawyers Borrelli & Associates, P.L.L.C.

Henderson v. AFG Group, Inc., Case No.: 1:18-cv-04...
Borrelli & Associates negotiates $135K settlement ...

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