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What do I do if my Employer Refuses to Pay Me?

Refusal to pay an employee wages earned is wage theft.

Wage theft is a crime as it is tantamount to stealing. Wage theft is defined as the underpayment or non-payment of wages owed to workers. Wage theft comes in many forms, including withholding paychecks and paycheck deadline violations. Employees have the right to prompt and accurate payment. Employers who do not comply with this are in violation of federal and state law.

I never received a paycheck for the last pay period. What do I do?

Legally speaking, paychecks must be promptly distributed to employees. Some states even require employers to pay you additional money as a penalty if your paycheck is late. The Fair Labor Standards Act mandates that employers pay employees on the next regular payday for the previous pay period. Different states have varying laws for when a terminated employee must receive his or her last paycheck.

If you never received a paycheck for the last pay period, it would be a good idea to first check with your employer to make sure if a mistake has occurred. Hopefully, the paycheck was due to a simple clerical error and can be remedied right away.

If your paycheck is being intentionally withheld and your employer is refusing to pay you, take these immediate steps to protect yourself:

  • Gather a record of the hours you worked during the pay period at issue.
  • Track any additional expenses you may have incurred due to the delay in receiving your paycheck. This could include things like credit card penalties for failure to pay your bills on time.
  • Submit a written demand for payment to your employer.
  • If this does not resolve the problem, you may file a claim with the state’s labor relations board.
  • Additionally, if your employer has refused to pay you, the U.S. Department of Labor can be contacted to start an investigation as it is a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act which requires all employers to pay at least minimum wage and additional money for overtime.

You should also consult with an attorney. There are many state-specific rules regarding when an employer must pay wages owed and outlining the available remedies an individual may have if they have not been paid wages owed. State laws may outline the obligations of an employer and the process for filing a wage theft claim. The laws can be complicated and you may waive some of your rights of recovery if you do not comply with procedures they outline.

An attorney can also discuss your rights as far as recovering compensation. There may be issues at play above and beyond your wages being withheld. If your employer has done any of the following, you may be able to bring suit against them for more than just wages owed:

  • Acted in a discriminatory manner towards you
  • Harassed you
  • Retaliated against you for bringing safety issues to their attention
  • Defamed you to other potential employers

Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Will Aggressively Represent Your Interests

Having your wages withheld for any reason and dealing with an employer who refuses to give you your paycheck is frustrating and incredibly stressful. The Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC understand the difficult situations clients face and won’t stand for employers taking advantage of you. The tenacious McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC attorneys will aggressively represent your interests and make sure you get the recovery you deserve. Contact McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC online or call 215-569-8488 today for a free consultation.