What Can I Do If My Employer Keeps Paying Me Late?

When you are hired for a job, your employer should go over when and how you will be paid. You should keep any employment contracts and employee handbooks. Also, maintain documentation, such as memos, emails, notes, paystubs, and copies of timecards.

When you are hired, you should get a job description. They will go over your pay and your pay date. If you aren’t regularly paid on time, or if you are not paid the proper rate, you do have resources available.

Your pay doesn’t have to be too late for you to be able to file a complaint against your employer. If your paycheck is supposed to be issued to you on Friday, and you don’t have your paycheck in hand by Monday, then you may be able to benefit from filing a complaint.

Are There Laws About Late Payments For When My Employer Didn't Pay Me On Pay Day?

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) applies to employers who have 15 or more employees. The FLSA sets laws and guidelines about employee pay. There have been cases in which employers delayed payroll because of cash flow problems. The employer may not be promptly paid by a customer or may receiving funds from a government agency or bank could be delayed.

The company could have faced an unexpected expense that has put finances in a bind. If an employee files a complaint and alleges that the paychecks violated the state laws or the FLSA and demanded their paycheck, which was late, then they could have a successful case. Courts have determined that the FLSA will view that a late payment is not any different than receiving no pay at all.

Fill out a Free Case Evaluation if you were not paid after quitting

Some States Have Their Own Laws

Basically, all states have laws that sets out how much and when employees are to be paid. State laws specify how long there can be between the pay period’s conclusion and when the employee gets paid. Some states must notify their employees in advance of regularly scheduled paydays. This can be done by electronic notification, memo, or by publishing a calendar of pay dates that are set for a specific pay period.

As an example, some employers pay weekly, others pay biweekly, and some pay monthly. State law may establish that an employer must pay employees no later than 30 days after a pay period, so the pay date cannot extend beyond that monthly pay date. If your employer pays you even a day late, then they could face harsh penalties from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the state labor agency.

There are four standard pay day schedules:

  • Weekly
  • Bi-Weekly
  • Semi-Monthly
  • Monthly

Payroll rules, both weekly and monthly, clearly require employers to pay workers every week or month. Employees must be paid every two weeks under biweekly payday laws, while employees must be paid twice a month under semimonthly payday laws.

Arizona mandates semi-monthly wages, as well as a limit of 16 days between pay checks, so you can't pay your employees twice at the end of the month.

In New York, manual workers must be paid weekly, while all other workers must be paid semi-monthly, but you can pay a manual employee semi-monthly if the labor department agrees. 

Employer Penalties  

In some states, there are penalties that apply to employers that pay their employees late. The state knows that workers rely on getting paid on time and wants to make sure that employers who don’t pay their workers on time will face consequences for that. One of the penalties that is often applied to employers that pay their workers late is requiring that the employer reimburse employees for any bank fees caused by late paychecks like NSF fees or overdraft fees.

It would be great if all states imposed penalties on employers that didn’t pay their employees on time, but not all states do. Some states have other restrictions in place to ensure that employers pay their workers on time.

For example, the Texas Workforce Commission allows workers who aren’t paid all of their wages in a timely way to file a claim against their employer. If the employer doesn’t pay them on time the worker may be able to recover damages from the employer in addition to the wages that were originally owed. New York also allows employees to file a claim with the state labor department if they aren’t paid on time.

If your employer doesn’t pay you on time or doesn’t pay you all of the wages that you’re entitled to you may also be able to sue them in court for the money that you’re owed. Make sure that you are keeping copies of your hours worked and earnings statements so that you have proof showing you are owed money for the time that you worked. 

How to Confront Your Employer

When addressing your boss about your late paychecks, it's critical to consider the best time to approach your boss to get the best answer. When it comes to late payments, it's important that you get straight to the point. Make a list of the most important facts, such as the date of the missed paycheck and the number of times this has happened.

Make sure you simply present evidence and refrain from expressing an opinion. Your boss will be able to provide a faster solution to the late payroll issue by getting straight to the point.

Before meeting with your manager, make sure you have taken the time to relax. When communicating your dilemma to your boss, you should avoid being emotional.

What Can I Do If My Employer Didn't Pay Me on Pay Day?

If you are not paid in a timely manner from your job, you will want to talk to your supervisor or to the company’s human resources department or payroll manager. You should consult with an employment law attorney who handles wage theft cases.

An attorney will help you get your claim underway. Your lawyer will be able to review the details surrounding your claim, so be sure to have supporting evidence and documentation that shows you were not paid on the time that you were supposed to be.

Your lawyer may contact your employer and may also file a claim with your state employment agency or with the EEOC – whichever applies to your situation. Your lawyer will know how to proceed with your claim and what damages you can recover for your losses. You may be able to recover lost wages and any interests or other damages and costs that apply to your specific situation.

A delayed paycheck can put your family in a financial bind. It can make the difference in whether you can pay your bills, keep the electricity on, or buy groceries.

Paying employees late can be damaging. If you received your paycheck and the checked bounced, then you will face additional charges such as returned check fees, late payment charges, and more. You will want your employer to reimburse you for all those costs.

How Long Can an Employer Wait Before Paying You?

How long an employer can wait without paying you depends on the state you work in. Some have specific laws on how long is allowed between pay periods and when you need to get paid.

However most states have the same longs for how long an employer can wait before paying. For example, all states other than Alabama and South Carolina have laws that mandate either weekly, biweekly, semimonthly, or monthly payments.

The information below provides the laws that different states enforce regarding payday requirements: <

  • Massachusetts: Employees must be paid within 6 days of the end of the payroll period;
  • Illinois: Employees must be paid no later than 13 days after the end of the pay period
  • New York: Manual laborers have to be paid each week (or twice a month, upon approval), while clerical and other workers have to be paid at least twice a month;
  • Florida: State employees need to be paid at least once a month but there are no minimum payday requirements for workers who work for private companies;
  • Arizona: Employees payday has to be two or more days a month, but not more than 16 days apart.
  • Connecticut: A longer interval of up to a month is allowed if the labor commissioner approves
  • Hawaii: Employees can choose whether to be paid monthly under a special election procedure. The Director of Labor and Industrial Relations may also grant exceptions to the typical semi-monthly payday requirement.

What to Do If Your Employer Didn’t Pay You on Pay Day

Backed by both state and federal employment laws, you have the right to get paid on time and in full according to a pay period established by your employer. The United States Department of Labor (DOL) under the supervision of the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) handles the complaints filed against employers because of unpaid wages.

If you work for an employer that has not paid you the money you deserve, you should contact an employment attorney who may specialize in handling wage and hour complaints. Simply hiring a lawyer might motivate your employer to give you back pay, as well as stop holding back your paychecks. However, many employers fight accusations that involve wage and hour issues such as not receiving a check for the time worked.

Your employment lawyer can help you file a persuasive claim with the WHD, which conducts an investigation into your allegations. Representatives from the WHD review the evidence you submit, which should include copies of paycheck stubs, whether the stubs come in print or digital form. You also should send the WHD copies of your bank statements going back as far as when you received the full amount of your paycheck. With the help of your legal counsel, you receive copies of the timekeeping records stored by your employer and submit the records to the WHD.

The last option if every other option fails involves filing a civil lawsuit that seeks monetary damages, as well as the back pay you deserve. Your employment law attorney will try to negotiate a settlement, which helps you avoid the costly and time-consuming process of a trial.

What Can I Do If My Employer Doesn’t Pay Me on Time?

Some employers pay workers the full amount they are owed, but do not pay their workers on time. If your employer consistently refuses to pay you on time, you and your employment lawyer should first contact the WHD by submitting a wage and hour claim. You want to submit convincing evidence, as well as the names and contact of workers that also have not received their paychecks on time.

Submitting a worker complaint typically results in one of two outcomes. First, your employer might agree to return to the previous pay schedule that workers expected each week or every two weeks. However, your employer might balk at paying you on time, which means your legal counsel might recommend the filing of a civil lawsuit. When you file a complaint with the WHD, you must include your name and contact information, as well as the name and contact information of your employer. Include the names of the managers and a detailed description of the type of work you do to receive compensation.

The WHD’s primary responsibility involves ensuring you start receiving your paychecks according to the schedule outlined in the company employee manual. If your employer continues to delay the delivery of paychecks, you should consider filing a civil lawsuit that seeks monetary damages. The key to receiving monetary damages is to present records that demonstrate your wage rate, as well as prove you have received delayed paychecks. Copies of your direct deposit records over the past year should help your case.

How a Lawyer Can Help When Your Paychecks are Late

If you have not been paid on time, you should enlist the help of an employment law attorney who handles wage theft cases. Your chances of a successful case increase when you have legal representation.

An employment law attorney is familiar with the state and federal laws that apply to your situation. Time to pursue a claim is limited, so if you wait too long you cannot recover damages. Complete the Free Case Evaluation form on this page today.