can an employer hold your paycheck at yearend for days worked and change to arrears pay periods in the new year?

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can an employer hold your paycheck at yearend for days worked and change to arrears pay periods in the new year?

our company held our support staff only paychecks for the last two-weeks in December of 2016. Our pay period was on 15th and 30th/31st days of the month for years. The company decided that they would hold our final paychecks. This posed a terrible inconvenience for many. Then the company offered us loans for hours that had already been incurred/worked. On Jan. 6, 2017, we received a paycheck for 1 week which the company referred to as arrears pay. It seems the company held our pay arrears for more than a pay period. Is this legal?

Asked on March 27, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Yes, the employer can change the pay periods or structure. No, they should not have done so at the employee's expense: they should have arranged a more seamless transition for employees, and the law does not let allow them to hold paychecks for their own administrative convenience. That said, you likely do not have any recourse: you can only take legal action for actual monetary losses, not inconveniece, so if you have been paid the money, even if late, there is no point in legal action: sometimes, there are violations of your rights for which the law does not offer any effective recourse.


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