You may have just received notice that you will be laid off in a couple weeks. Maybe you are planning to quit your job. Both of these situations can bring about concerns regarding pay, since many us live from one paycheck to the next. Will you receive your final paycheck on your last working day or on the next scheduled payday? Can your employer seek revenge by withholding your pay?
What the Law Says
Under federal law, employers are not obligated to give employees their final paycheck immediately. However, they may be obligated to do so under state law. Each state has its own laws regarding the disposition of the final paycheck, and it may vary depending on if you quit or were fired. For example, those who are fired are often required to receive their final paycheck on their last day of work, while those who quit often receive their final paycheck at the next payday.
Under New York Labor Law Section 191, employers are required to pay all unpaid wages by the next scheduled payday. This applies whether the payday is every week, every two weeks or once a month. The only exception is for sales commissions. If a salesperson is fired, his or her earned commission must be paid within five business days after getting fired or within five business days after the commission is due.
In addition, the paycheck must contain all earned, unpaid wages. The employer cannot withhold any part of the paycheck for any reason. If you earned the wages, you are entitled to receive all of them. The only deductions that can be taken are for taxes, pension benefits, insurance premiums, union dues and charitable donations. You cannot have deductions taken out of your check for being fired, for quitting or for poor performance. While some employers withhold paychecks for breaking or not returning office equipment, this is actually against the law. Even if you do not return equipment timely, you still have the legal right to get paid.
If you have not received your paycheck by the next scheduled payday or discover that you have had a portion of your pay withheld, discuss the situation with the employer. If you cannot resolve the situation or the employer refuses to pay you, contact your state labor department. They can advise you of your next steps.
Contact a New York Unpaid Wages Attorney
You work hard for your money. Whether you quit your job or have been laid off or fired, you deserve prompt payment of your final check and commissions so you can cover expenses as you move on to your next job.
If your employer has not issued your final paycheck on time, you have the legal right to sue to recover the compensation you earned. The experienced New York unpaid wages attorneys at Ricotta & Marks, P.C. can help. We can determine if your employer is violating state or federal wage laws. To learn more about your rights when it comes to payment, call our firm at (347) 464-8694.