Can my employer combine my current and final pay into one check and not pay me on my payday?

UPDATED: Dec 17, 2011

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Can my employer combine my current and final pay into one check and not pay me on my payday?

A little less than 2 weeks ago I turned in my 2 weeks notice. I was supposed to get paid on the 16th. When it wasn’t in my bank I complained to my boss. She said that they decided to combine that pay with my final pay which I wasn’t even supposed to receive until the 30th. I have bills and checks coming in that are bouncing and I’m accruing fees because they did not pay me on the16th when they were supposed to. I was never even told about this before hand, so I could have prepared. Is there anything I can do about this?

Asked on December 17, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

As a general matter, an employer may not delay its paychecks; not only do many (though not all) states have laws specifying when and how often employees must be paid, but the pay periods are part of the terms and conditions under which you work--while an employer may be able (subject to state law) to change them going forward, it can't change them for work already done, without prior notice. Doing that would violate the implied contract between the employer and employee.

Therefore, your employer  may be liable for any costs and losses (interest charges; bounced check fees; etc.) you incur as a result of the delay. Unfortunately, if they don't voluntarily pay these amounts, you'd have to sue them to seek reimbursement, which may or may not be worth it.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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