I haven’t received my last paycheck and it’s been 2 months, who’s at fault?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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I haven’t received my last paycheck and it’s been 2 months, who’s at fault?

So I briefly worked at this fitness place for a couple days. On my second day I walked out due to illness and didn’t inform my superior. Not the smartest move I know I avoided further calls and texts due to the outcomes of my actions also not smart. It’s been 2 months and I haven’t received payment for the 2 days working there. Upon calling the business and inquiring about why a check was not sent, I was told they still needed signatures in order to pay me. The messages I received immediately upon terminating my employment did not mention anything about additional paperwork so I was confused. I filled out my W-2 and direct deposit information as well as other forms. They did not tell me which signatures needed to be provided. When I asked about when I was going to get paid they then said they had to contact accounting and would let me know within the week. Is it legal for them to withhold my paycheck for so long without informing me of additional paperwork? Was it even legal for me to work for them without this paperwork being finished?

Asked on January 4, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Washington


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Yes, it is legal to have you begin working without all necessary paperwork being complete--it needs to be complete before payroll is processed, but you can work without some of it being done.
It is their obligation to pay you and, if there is anything necessary which they don't have, to send you the forms in an expeditious manner and/or request the informtion promptly. You could sue them for the 2 days pay, but since you'll have to pay round $40 or $50 in filing fees and would lose a workday to court (assuming it goes to court; i.e. that they don't settle ahead of time), it's not clear it is in your interest to do this.

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