Is it illegal for an employer to not pay their employees on scheduled pay days?

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Is it illegal for an employer to not pay their employees on scheduled pay days?

At our hotel, our pay day is every other Friday. This is the weekend before Thanksgiving. He told us that there was a mistake on the payroll for the manager’s wages and because of that the rest of us will have to wait until Monday to receive our checks. Like most employees here, we make minimum wage and live paycheck to paycheck. Is this legal for them to not pay us on our scheduled pay days?

Asked on November 23, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Is it legal? No. That said, if it truly was an honest error, it's not clear what can or should be done about it. Generally speaking, if the employer can do there was some legitimate mistake, they will likely not be penalized; and if you will be paid in a few days, the issue will be resolved and rendered moot before the labor department can even consider the issue (given the holiday and weekend). Effectively, if the employer is telling  the truth, there is nothing you can effectively do, especially not to get the money earlier. You situation is a tough one, but it does happen once in a great while; as a general matter, though, problems which will be resolved in a matter of days are not ones for which the legal system can provide effective redress.


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