How Long Can An Employer Get Away With Not Paying Its Employees?


9 Answers

Luke Wilcox Profile
Luke Wilcox answered

An employer can get away without paying its employees as long as the employees allow it. If an employer does not pay the employees on the regularly scheduled payday, he or she is direct legal violation.

Many employers will avoid paying their workers as long as they can get away with it. The only way to stop or prevent this is to take them to court. Wages are due to be paid on the agreed upon payday as per a contract. Being as employees are usually the most costly part of running a business, employers will avoid paying their employees as long as possible as a way to keep money flowing. They also often attempt to get workers to work off the clock.

Some employers will risk not paying their employees, assuming that most will give up instead of fight them in court. This risk often proves to be more cost efficient for the employer. It is a good idea to contact professional, legal advice in such instances. A good online resource to get started is Northwest Wage

Before going to court, it is helpful to clarify the definition of what one means by pay or the term of wages. This is important because the definition varies from state to state, which means the laws will also vary. For example, in Washington and Oregon, the term wages includes all the possible earnings and compensation an employee is entitled to from an employer. Compensation such as overtime, vacation pay, personal time off, paid work, and any payment for car use or travel.

Defining the term of pay as well as the state will result in a different answer. For the most part, when an employer fails to pay an employee all the wages that have become due for payment, the employee has a right to sue the employer for recovery of these wages plus an additional 30-days of pay for penalty, along with attorney and litigation fees.

Susan Bohl Profile
Susan Bohl answered
You can get help online.  Try going to the website of the law library of the state in which you reside.  Ask your questions, and they'll reply, usually within 24 hours.  No matter how family-like the company is, you should leave if you're not being paid.  You owe them nothing, but they owe you!  I hope everything works out for you, and you find a job you like, soon.
Robyn Rothman Profile
Robyn Rothman answered
I'm not trying to be a smart aleck, but as long as you allow him to get away with it.  It's a violation the the Fair Labor Standards Act.  See about how to recover back wages.
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Anonymous commented
Not a smart aleck - completely right & what I have been telling myself for a while. I just wondered if there was any legal action I could take IF I decided to go that route. It's a small business, very "family-like" but I know it is time to separate from the family. Thanks for the advice.
Robyn Rothman
Robyn Rothman commented
Good luck, Junix.
Rev. Dr. Charles Rogers Profile
You need to find a new job and then persue your back pay. It sounds as if your employer is nearing a point of bankruptcy or closure. The longer you continue to hang on the worse things become for you in the event either happens.
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Anonymous commented
I am looking for a new job but not having luck as of yet which is why I am still hanging on here. Thanks for the advice!
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Hi Junix,

Well, I have to admit that I'm going through something similar.  I was "dismissed" from a non-paying employer in Toronto after emailing a letter requesting compensation for the 4.5 months I worked for him in light of his constant promises (yeah, I border somewhere between patient and gullible).

The case is before a level-2 officer after 4 more months of waiting.  So I'm inclined to believe there is possible recourse for you... Just be prepared to wait.  I just hope you've managed to find some sense of resolution for yourself.

~Regardless, my sincere wish for good luck to you!
Alison Baillie Profile
Alison Baillie answered
They cannot expect you to work for them if they haven't paid you. 2 paychecks is taking the p*** in my opinion.  I bet the managers have been paid. Get another job.
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Anonymous commented
Actually, the managers have not been paid for quite a while. As I mentioned above, the company is small with a family-like atmosphere which is why I have "toughed it out". But I realize that I have to leave the "family" and find something else. Just wondered what sort of legal standing I have. Thanks!
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Who can I contact to report a employer for holding payroll for three pay period
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John commented
Take them to court for failure to pay for services /work rendered. In other words le the judge yank' em up by their collar using the justice system. : )
John Profile
John answered
ever heard of slaves,indentured servants.depends on what you mean by employer.families are still seeking payment a 2000 years later. Ever read about the jews/israelites
building the pyramids at the hands of the also depends on what you term employment/a job. : )

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